Regional News of 2014-06-11

Start-up capital for ex-convicts

Prisoners who will be discharged from the Awutu Camp Prison in the Central Region will be given a start-up capital of GH¢1,000 to set up their own businesses, the Headmistress of the Light of the World School Complex, Mrs Esther Hamilton, has assured.

The move, she said, was to ensure that the ex-convicts had income-generating ventures so that they would not become a burden to their families or society.

Once that was done, she said, ex-convicts would be fully integrated in the society and would not go back to do the things that sent them to prison because they would be engaged with their businesses.

“When each ex-convict is leaving, beginning this month I will give that person GH¢ 1,000. I will also give a little money to the welfare officer so that the recipient of the money is monitored wherever they would be,” she said.

Television presentation

Mrs Hamilton said this last Sunday when she fulfilled her promise of presenting the Awutu Camp Prison with a 43-inch Plasma television. In addition to the television, she presented toothbrushes, soap, sugar and some toothpaste.

Appeal by inmates

The headmistress had promised to give the camp a television set after inmates appealed to her for one to enable them to watch this year’s World Cup in Brazil. This was when she presented cooked food and drinks to the inmates on Easter Monday this year.

Mrs Hamilton said she would liaise with the prison authorities to ensure that any ex-convict that received the capital was monitored to ensure that the money was used for its intended purpose.

Skills training

The inmates at the camp are taken through skill-training ventures including kente and basket weaving, grasscutter rearing, ruminants and vegetable production, poultry production and piggery.

Mrs Hamilton expressed concern about the lack of support for inmates during trials, and appealed to the government to ensure that suspects had adequate legal representation during trials so that they were not wrongfully found guilty for offences they did not commit.

That, she said, was because a lot of people were in prison because they did not have legal representation in court.

The inmates later presented Mrs Hamilton with a basket and slippers they had made in appreciation for her support to the camp over the years.

On behalf of her colleagues, Kwaku Boateng, an inmate, thanked Mrs Hamilton for her support.