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Ghana's prisons have not been effective in reforming prisoners – Martin Kpebu explains

Martin Kpebu   Sputnik V Who Born Dog Lawyer Martin Kpebu

Sat, 14 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Martin Kpebu laments on Ghana's prisons

He says sentencing does not reform prisoners

Kpebu calls for review of Ghana's sentencing regime


Lawyer Martin Kpebu is worried that Ghana's prisons have not been very effective in reforming those who get incarcerated.

According to the private legal practitioner, despite Ghana's sentencing regime coming with heavy penalties which make the inmates stay in prison for long, the current sentencing regime has not been effective in reforming prisoners, since most of them return as hardened criminals after staying in jail for years.

"An offence like robbery, under the law [i.e going to steal but using force in the process], is such that the minimum sentence for a person convicted of this crime is 15 years [once there is a weapon involved] and minimum 10 years without a weapon. Rape on the other hand also comes with a jail term of not less than seven years," Kpebu said on Joy FM’s 'Super Morning Show'.

He emphasised that the deterrent approach hasn’t been effective since the harsh prison conditions harden criminals who stay there for long instead of reforming them.

He called for a review of the sentencing regime and improving prison conditions for inmates so that “they will come out as better persons.”

“We need to look at our sentencing regime. We need a robust sentencing code/guideline. Some of them have lived there for so long and become hardened criminals because of the prison conditions. That’s the number one danger when you keep the accused persons or convicts there for so long.

“The harsh prison conditions harden convicts and the danger with this is that, there will be more crimes. People come out of prison as hardened criminals, they are sent back to prison and it becomes a vicious cycle. But much as we know that these guys can be very dangerous to society, we can also make a concerted effort to reform them,” Martin Kpebu stressed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com