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Regional News of Friday, 9 January 2015

Source: citifmonline.com

Wa central prison conveys convicts in public transport

The Wa Central Prison has been moving inmates in and out of the facility on public transport, Citi News investigations have revealed.

The prison officers sometimes commute long distances with convicts in some instances because the facility’s vehicle has broken down.

This has resulted in security challenges with inmates sometimes attempting to escape on such trips.

The situation has compounded the already existing problems the prison is faced with, such as overcrowding.

ADP. Victor K. Douchebe, the Commander of the Wa Central Prison, shared his frustration in an interview with Citi News.

“This is supposed to be a central prison, but my brother, it’s just the name. The facility is lacking a lot of the things that will qualify it as a central prison. We have no single serviceable vehicle, there is no residential accommodation for most of the staff. The cells are overcrowded,” he lamented.

He warned of an imminent implosion if immediate steps are not taken to decongest the prison. He said, “both officers and the facilities here are over stretched beyond acceptable levels because of the high number of the inmates we have”.

The commander was worried that the situation is adversely affecting the lives of the prisoners and also poses a serious challenge to the efforts of his men in their bid to offer “correctional and skills training services,” at the facility.

Ghana as a signatory to the United Nations Charter on the Standard Rules For The Treatment Of Prisoners is enjoined to guard against torcher and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners.

But ADP Douchebe was unhappy that prisoners in the country still struggle to survive on a paltry Ghc1.80p, which is provided daily by government for their upkeep.

He appealed for support and called for a review of the country’s penal system that will consider community service for minor offences. That, according to the commander will decongest Ghana prisons.

The Wa central prison has a capacity to contain 100 prisoners but is now housing 214 inmates.