Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated government’s commitment to continuing its capacity building programme for the Ghana Prisons Service.
Speaking at the graduation and commissioning of officers from the junior corps of the Prisons Service in Acccra, Dr Bawumia underscored the crucial role of the Prisons Service in the administration of justice in the country.
Dr Bawumia used the opportunity to highlight some interventions the Akufo-Addo government has been making in the past four years towards improving the capacity of the Service, especially in expansion of personnel, infrastructure and welfare.
“Government’s commitment to improve adequately the human resource of the Prison Service has led to the expansion of its manpower base, with the recruitment of some two thousand, nine hundred and fifty (2,950) recruits, and enlistment of three hundred (300) cadets, over the course of the last four years,” Dr Bawumia disclosed.
While stressing that government is mindful of the challenges confronting the Ghana Prisons Service, he added that it has been taking necessary steps, since 2017, to address those challenges.
“For instance, in November last year, the Service took delivery of ten (10) brand new Nissan Hardbody pickups to augment its fleet. I know the Service needs more vehicles, and I assure you that you will receive more vehicles in our second term,” he said.
“With respect to accommodation for officers, I am happy to inform you that contractors working on residential facilities at the Ankaful, Nsawam and Roman Ridge Prisons Complexes, have resumed work in earnest, after the brief break due to COVID-19,” he said.
The Vice-President added that government is also upgrading all health facilities in the Prisons to make them more responsive to the health needs of officers and inmates.
Currently, he said, “the infirmary at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison has been elevated to the status of a District Hospital, whilst those at the Ankaful Maximum Security, Kumasi Central and the Koforidua prisons, have also been elevated to clinics.”
“Government will continue to work closely with the Service to develop the capacity of prison officers, and to enable them perform their duties in accordance with international standards, which are of great concern to the Ghanaian people,” Dr Bawumia assured.
One hundred and ninety-eight men and women of the Officer Cadet Course Intake 28 were commissioned into the Senior Officer Corps of the Ghana Prisons Service. The Vice-President urged them to continually justify the confidence reposed in them in the discharge of their duties.
He said it should not be lost on them that their call is one of trust. “Contemporary correctional management does not focus on punishing the prisoner, condemning and stigmatizing them with painful treatment methods, but rather on repairing their humanity, and helping to restore their God-given talents, in line with international standards.
“I urge you to embrace this new emerging order of restoration. Let it be your duty to treat prisoners with care, respect and decency, without compromising your professional ethics,” Dr Bawumia told the commissioned officers.