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General News of Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Source: 3 News

Group advocates amnesty for convicted non-violent drug users


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POS Foundation, facilitators of the Justice For All programme and lead organisation in the advocacy for the community service law, has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to extend amnesty to petty offenders and nonviolent drug users.

The foundation believes this will help in decongesting the country’s prisons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the foundation, a review of the amnesty criteria under PNDC law 236 will assist in decongesting the prisons in this era of COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting some PPE to the Tamale Central Prisons, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Jonathan Osei Owusu mentioned that non-custodian sentence of petty offenders will serve as alternative to incarceration.

He added that the government should as a matter of urgency get legislative and constitutional instruments for parole and probation.

“President Akufo-Addo and his government should grant pardon under Article 72 by reviewing the amnesty criteria and proposing convicted nonviolent drug users, not traffickers, who are serving below 10 years” he requested.

He applauded government for the swift response to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic but however stated the executive instrument on the compulsory wearing of nose masks should not add up to the woes of the prisons.

He commended the Ghana Prison Service for the precautionary security protocols and contingency plan put in place by the service to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.

Handwashing machines, Veronica buckets, hand sanitizers, vitamin C, temperature guns and other PPE were presented to the service.

A cheque for 1,500 cedis was also presented to transport some of the PPE to the Salaga and Yendi prisons.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prison Service in Tamale ASP Nfum Amoako on behalf of the service expressed gratitude to POS Foundation and its partners for the gesture

He revealed the Tamale Central Prisons recorded a case of Covid-19 but said the officer is in good condition.

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