General News of 2014-01-02

No single psychiatrist at prisons

The Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) cannot boast of a single medical doctor or psychiatrist.

The service faces challenges in employing specialists such as medical doctors, clinical psychologists, counselors, lawyers and psychiatrists to deliver much-needed specialized services to prisoners.

The current number of clinical psychologists, counselors and lawyers also require additions.

The Chief Public Relations Officer of the GPS, Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (DSP) Vitalis Aiyeh, in an interview with The Finder newspaper attributed the situation to general poor conditions of service.

Consequently, he said this was impacting negatively on reformation as records available indicate that there is a significant incidence of re-offending among ex-convicts, and recidivism.

The service needs at least one medical doctor, clinical psychologist, counselor, lawyer and psychiatrist for each of the 10 regions, as well as the establishment of Prisons Hospitals in every region.

Prisoners, whether sentenced or unsentenced, should have access to the same quality and range of health services as the general public receives, because punishment should be through deprivation of liberty, not through being treated worse than those who are not prisoners.