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General News of Wednesday, 25 August 2021


Stigmatising ex-convicts dangerous – Prisons Service

The public is advised to desist from stigmatizing ex-convicts The public is advised to desist from stigmatizing ex-convicts

The Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) has cautioned Ghanaians to desist from stigmatizing ex-convicts because that behavior is dangerous to society.

According to the service, when ex-convicts are shunned, it has the tendency of leading them back to crime.

Speaking in an interview with Afia Papabi on Dwabremu on CTV on Wednesday, 25 August 2021, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service, CSP Courage Atsem, admonished the citizenry to welcome ex-convicts into their folds, believe they have been transformed and help them integrate into the society.

He said, “Stigmatisation of ex-convicts is a dangerous thing and a big challenge for all of us”.

“People are sent to prison to be corrected, so, if the person goes in and the assumption is that he’s a criminal, he’s a nonentity, I don’t need to get close to him, we are pushing them into crime.”

“Somebody goes to prison and maybe he has learnt a trade and he’s practising his trade while out of custody. As soon as you know he’s been in prison before, you say, ‘I won’t buy his product anymore’. How is he going to sustain his business?”

“And these are some of the challenges some of our ex-inmates face. That is why, for instance, if you want to have an ex-inmate to share his experience with you on what he learnt in prison and what he’s practising now, he may not be willing to come because as soon as people see his face, then his product will face difficulty and, so, I think that that is something, as a nation, we should look at and refrain from, otherwise, what we do is that we are pushing them back to crime,” he stated.

Mr Atsem explained that “human beings are naturally social, so, we want to associate and if I go to prison and come back and nobody wants to associate with me, I tell you, there’s one group that will be ready to welcome them and that is the group of criminals”.

“So, if we, as members of society, decide to shun our ex-convicts, what we are doing is that we are pushing them back into crime which is dangerous for all of us”.

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