Regional News of Monday, 3 March 2014

Source: GNA

Ghana prisons set for upgrade

The Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Matilda Baffour Awuah, has commissioned a transformational taskforce to help upgrade the Prisons system to conform to the United Nations standards.

Headed by Reverend James Tetteh, Chief Superintendent of Prisons; the taskforce, which has drawn members from all the departments of the service, will among other things; bring all stakeholders on board to build a solid foundation for the transformation and assess the current state of affairs of the service.

The taskforce will also check on the level of congestions in various prisons throughout the country and make recommendations for decongestion and advise capacity building measures for staff members.

These were contained in a statement signed by Deputy Superintendent of Prisons, Vitalis Aiyeh, Chief Public relations Officer.

The Director-General’s terms of reference for the transformation team, according to the statement also include; high level consultations with all stakeholders especially key agencies of the Criminal Justice System, members of the civil society, religious groups, volunteers and both local and international development partners in the Country.

“Our hope is to build wider consensus Prison Reforms in the Country to make the Prisons relevant to Criminal Justice Administration,” it said.

The statement also mentioned that the British High Commission, Migration Section, led by Mr. Charanpreet Singh Walia, in November 2013, commissioned a study into the Ghanaian Prison System with the aim of making recommendations for its reform into a modern Correctional System.

It noted that the report, together with its recommendations was being examined by the transformation team to help strategize and take actions to improve on existing structures, systems, methods of operations and general handling of prisoners in the country.

The Director General according to the statement called on the Ghana Prisons administration and other stakeholders to offer the necessary support to develop effective measures that would ensure better correctional system in the country.