The Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Isaac K. Egyir has highlighted the need for a new Prisons Act to deal with prison management and current trends of crime.
He, therefore, called for the expedition of processes to adopt a newly drafted Prisons Act to replace the over 49-year-old Prisons Service Act.
“Criminal activities are on the upsurge with increasing sophistication in the modes of committing a crime. Therefore, it is imperative to constantly ensure that the key preventive state agencies and other players in the criminal justice system are strengthened and equipped with the relevant skills and resources,” he said.
He made this statement at a two-day external stakeholders’ consultation on the new Prisons Bill.
The New Bill
The USAID-sponsored Bill seeks to introduce inmate-specific programs such as correctional parole.
Also, it will introduce the United Nations Standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners.
Furthermore, Mr.Egyir noted that if approved, the policy document will enable the Ghana Prisons Service to deliver an effective correctional service.
“As part of interventions to solve overcrowding in prisons is the introduction of parole under the bill. The concept of parole-based corrections is an endeavor to facilitate the integration and acceptance of deserving inmates back into society whilst at the same time maintaining criminal responsibilities,” he indicated.
Moreover, the Director-General bemoaned the absence of parole and non-custodial sentencing regime. He indicated that this has resulted in overcrowding in Ghana’s Prisons.
A representative of the USAID, Audra Lykos noted that Ghana’s Prisons accommodates over 55% of prisoners more than their original capacities thus underscored the need for the new Prisons Service Bill.
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