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'Prisons in Ghana do not reform' - Ex-convict reveals

PRISON INMATES File Photo: Some inmates in a prison cell

Tue, 12 May 2020 Source: happyghana.com

An ex-convict of the Nsawam prisons has revealed that prisons in Ghana do not serve the purpose of reforming criminals as intended.

In an exclusive interview with Kwame Afrifa Mensah on the ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ show, the ex-convict who for safety purposes identifies himself as Mohammed, stated: “Ghanaian Prisons do not reform. It is left with you to decide if you will change. You are in one place and there is nothing to reform you. The only reformation is what you eat or where you sleep”.

According to him, the only vocational training opportunities were in tailoring and carpentry. He added that the Nsawam prisons recently had a school that was only available for people with specific sentences.

“Life in prison in Ghana is like a replica of hell on earth. It is now the survival of the fittest. What you don’t want is what you get. It is left to you to decide whether you will be happy or not”, he added.

People are imprisoned to deter them from victimizing the public, to pay society back for the harm done, and to re-orient criminals to reduce the likelihood of returning to the crime. However, many who leave the prisons come out more hardened than reformed.

In Ghana, the reformation process has been difficult because of lack of funding, poor infrastructure, lack of space, lack of tools for skills development programmes for prisoners and lack of staff development for officers, among others.

Source: happyghana.com