Non-custodial sentencing key to reducing congestion in Ghana’s prisons – Prison Service

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Thu, 26 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Our prisons are now congested because of the high rate of crime - Superintendent Atsem

We need more modern prisons in Ghana - Superintendent Atsem

Ghana Prison Service drafts bill for the introduction of Non-custodian sentence

The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prison Services, Chief Superintendent Courage Atsem, has urged stakeholders in the justice delivery system of Ghana to work towards the introduction of non-custodial sentencing.

According to him, the introduction of non-custodial sentencing is essential to dealing with overcrowding at various prisons in the country, which has led to the inhuman conditions in cells.

Superintendent Atsem, who made these remarks in an interview on GhanaWeb’s ‘The Lowdown’ show, said that the prison service and other stakeholders had drafted a bill with other options for prosecuting persons who have flouted Ghana’s laws.

“Currently, we have a draft bill which has a provision for none custodial sentencing – alternatives to imprisonment. So, depending on the offence, you may not necessarily have to do time in prison.

“…what it is now is that our sentencing policy is very limited, judges and magistrates are constrained to use only those options available to them. So, if we are able to introduce other alternatives per our code, then the judges and magistrates also have these other options to be able to explore apart from a fine and custodial sentence.

“So, yes, non-custodial sentencing will be a very important and lasting option if we as a nation consider more the issue of conjunction in our prisons,” Atsem told host of ‘The Lowdow’, Ismail Akwei.

Also, the Public Relations Officer said that Ghana’s prisons are now congested because of the high rate of crime and because most prisons in the country were not built for incarcerating people for long periods.

He, therefore, called for the construction of more modern prisons like the ones the Pentecost Church of Ghana is building for the prison service.

Watch Chief Superintendent Atsem interview on GhanaWeb TV below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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