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Opinions Fri, 30 Sep 2011

Project Elimination of Police Abuses

Project Elimination of Police Abuses after 19 Years of Pain and Suffering

STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS!

SUPPORT THE PROJECT, ABUSES ELIMINATION

THE PROJECT MEMORANDUM

To: His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana

From: Mr. A. Poku-Gyimah, APG (The Project’s Law Enforcement Coordinator)

Date: September 29, 2011

Re: The Project: The Ghanaian Police and Democratic Policing - Addressing Law Enforcement Abuses in the Land.

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A senior Ghanaian police officer told me that s/he sent a youth offender to a probation office but the probation officers didn’t know what to do with the child. It was their first experience. (This is not ASP Mr. Adu Boahen I mentioned him in one of my writings to you. I have never spoken to him. I only read about him via the Press. I think that he respects senior authority and follows the rules accordingly. He is also a good detective). This event motivated me to send you the handbook on the treatment of juvenile offenders back in 2009, which was compiled by a probation department here in California.

In spite of the fact that I provided information on the subject of mistreatment of youth offenders to you, the Ghanaian justice system’s maltreatment of youth offenders is on the rise. This is happening because personnel of the Ghanaian justice system lack training and experience of youth offender management. The Courts are even worse off than the Police. Even managing adult offenders is difficult on the personnel of our criminal justice system. They have, however, done very well in dealing with rape suspects. The fight against rape of women and children continues unabated.

I mentioned to you that the Chief Probation Officer of that County was willing to assist Ghana in training the Ghanaian Probation Department personnel for free. (Probably Ghana would have had to pay for their airfare and accommodation while in Ghana, however). As a result, I tried to facilitate a training session for the Ghanaian probation personnel with the Chief Probation Officer of that County on this subject. But, because I did not hear from any Ghanaian official on the subject-matter, I declined to make further contacts with the Chief. Regrettably, at this time, the Chief may not be able to assist Ghana in the training endeavor because of California’s current shortage of probation officers. Therefore, I will continue to decline contacting the Chief and may not revisit the matter (The recession has affected all categories of workers, including public safety workers).

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/probation/ or www.sdcounty.ca.gov/probation/index.html

Nonetheless, I urge you to log on to the above web site. Please pay attention to the “news”, particularly “Annual Report 2010” and “Annual Statistical Report 2010.” Also, could you please have a look at “See what we do” under the News section and click on icons of the following?

1. Drug Court Graduation

2. Juvenile Hall Tour

3. From Juvenile Hall to College

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As you watch the videos you will have a better understanding of why and how children and youth offenders are treated by the criminal justice system. You will learn about ‘juvenile justice system’, in an overview, but not as in-depth as I would like you to observe. So, I advice you to also click on the “YouTube” at your right-hand side, you will see two arrow/scroll bars. Look at the inner scroll bar. Beside it, on top, you will see “Making Strides with a “Passport To Life”; please, if you read it and scroll down to read all of the news below it, to the end of the bar, you will have a mental picture of juvenile justice system and its operation.

Having done the foresaid, sir, please, have a look at the web site below. It is a guide to understanding the juvenile justice system.

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/probation/docs/Understanding_the_Juvenile_Justice_System_web.pdf

When you are done with all this, we will then begin the main project, although I will briefly talk about our National Youth Policy, prepared by Honorable Akua Sena Dansua, (MP), the former Minister for Youth and Sports, on August 10, 2010. The National Youth Policy is located at:

http://www.ghana.gov.gh/documents/nypolicy.pdf

Type in the address and enter; press“open” to take you directly to the document. You do not necessarily have to read it at this time. We will need it as we progress in the project.

As a reminder, please pass on this memo to the underlisted personalities. I have eliminated the Director of Customs and Excise from the list because this section of the project does not fall within his or her jurisdiction. Instead, the Minister of Education is included. As we do the project, you will understand why each personality is important to participate with us. Finally, based on my Diaspora experiences, our First Lady is equally important to serve as a team member.

1. The IGP

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2. Attorney-General

3. Interior Minster

4. Director of BNI

5. Prisons Director

6. Director of Probations

7. Immigration Director

8. Chief Justice

9. Minister of Education

10. The Leader of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

cc:

1. Ghanaians and all the people of Ghana via Ghanaweb.com

2. The Ghana Bar Association via Ghanaweb.com

Columnist: Poku-Gyimah, A.