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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Rehabilitate junior girls’ correctional centre – Deputy Director

Mrs Ahligah made the call at a roundtable discussion organised by the CDD-Ghana Mrs Ahligah made the call at a roundtable discussion organised by the CDD-Ghana

Mrs Love Grace Ahligah, the Deputy Director in Charge of Junior Girls’ Correctional Centre has called on government to rehabilitate the centre, which caught fire in 2018 and had compromised on the work of the Centre.

Government should help make the Centre not only habitable but a safe place for the inmates, she noted.

Mrs Ahligah made the call at a roundtable discussion organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)-Ghana in Accra.

She explained that the fire, which guttered the Centre on December 28, destroyed two chambers, beyond repairs making it difficult to house the girls.

Currently, the Centre, which was established in 1950 to give character reformation, care and protection to girls between 12 and 18 on remand, is the only correctional centre for girls in the country, she said.

She stated that there was no senior correctional centre, thus, both adult and junior were admitted at the institution, which did not augur well for the reformation process.

Also in charge of the shelter for abused children as well as the Boys and Girls Remand Home, Mrs Ahligah said there were seven girls who were serving different sentences from three months and three years.

The Deputy Director expressed displeasure about the lack of infirmary, psychologists, dilapidated fence walls and gates, lack of security among others and said something needed to be done about that.

She called for reformation in the home where the girls were put on vocational training such as catering, hairdressing and dressmaking.

The discussion, which brought together Civil Society Organisations and other development partners, appealed to policy makers to have similar proactive approach to the area as they allot monies to sector such as education and agriculture.

To the participants, the lack of priority by successive governments needed to change and there was the need to bridge the inequality gap between the male correctional centre and that of the female.

To them, the gap between the law and practice on the correctional centres should be bridged, adding that, Ghana was among the first countries to sign on to international conventions but the last to implement.

Some of them were of the view that the over heightening of the girl-child over the boy was the reason why more boys were going into the correctional centre as they were not given special attention as the girls.

Madam Amanorbea Dodoo the Officer in charge of Health at the National Council on Disability said the rehabilitation centres were not disability friendly and that they should be factored in since some end-up getting there, adding that, it was not only about the facility but also professionals who would help meet their needs.

They called on the Police to discharge their duties diligently so as not to contribute to the keeping of juveniles in adult custody.

Dr Franklin Oduro, Deputy Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, charged the citizenry to hold government and its agencies accountable and demand from them in resourcing the Centres rather than solely depending on development partners which was not permanent.

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