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General News of Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Source: Myjoyonline.com

UK gov’t offers 500,000 Pounds to improve Ghanaian prisons

The British government has offered Ghana five hundred thousand (500,000) pounds to support the Ghana Prisons Service.

Intended to assist Ghana’s prisons operate to international standards, the UK-supported Ghana Prisons Transformational Project, will help decongest the Nation’s prisons and also provide a facelift for its correctional facilities.

Speaking at the Nsawam prison, British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, said the project has a number of aims, including reducing the number of remand prisoners.

This, he said would be done by funding the Justice for All programme and “creating Ghana’s first court dedicated to reducing the number of remand prisoners.”

Mr. Benjamin explained that the project also hopes to improve prison conditions at Ankaful and Sekondi , as well as healthcare delivery at the Nsawam prison.

He also added that the project is providing two new buses to transport inmates from prisons various locations whenever necessary.

Thanking the Commissioner, Interior Minister Mark Woyongo said government is excited about the upcoming facelifts and the decongestion that the prisons are to expect.

Touching on his current tour of prisons facilities across the country, the Interior Minister said overcrowding in the prisons is a serious problem that must be given all the attention it deserves.

He indicated that the Interior Ministry welcomed any initiative geared towards reducing congestion in these prisons.

Mr. Woyongo stated that “The prisons in the country have the capacity to hold 9,000 but are currently holding more than 14,000 inmates."

According to him, some of the prisons have over-stretched their official occupancy figures by over 300%; a fact that he insisted was “simply unacceptable”.