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Regional News Sat, 23 Apr 2016

Kumasi Prisons is choked

The congestion at the Kumasi Central Prisons is soaring, as the number of inmates there has shot up by more than 1,000.

Instead of the maximum 800 inmates for both convicts and remand prisoners at the facility, there were currently 1,802 inmates, including remand prisoners some of who have spent nine years there without trial for alleged murder.

Some remand cells are accommodating 72 inmates, while about 100 inmates are in other cells, and between 15 and 17 inmates are occupying a cubicle meant for one convict.

This came to light when The Ghanaian Times paid a familiarisation visit to the Kumasi Central Prisons.

According to the Ashanti Regional Commander of Prisons, Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Lord Nii Boye Tagoe, “We are at the mercy of the public and it takes the grace of God and tact to manage this place.”

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He said life at the prison was becoming more unbearable as the GHC1,500 which government gave for firewood “does not even suffice for a week”, adding “but for the donations from individuals and corporate bodies, the GHC1.80 for food per inmate per day is insufficient”.

DDP Tagoe was happy that the ‘Efiase Project’ which aims at repositioning the Ghana Prisons Service, would be launched.

The ‘Efiase Project’ is a 10-year strategic development plan to direct the development agenda of the service.

The plan includes the rebranding of the service to project a positive image, and leverage the industrial and agricultural activities to make them more financially viable and self-sustaining.

It would also protect society through executing orders of incarceration in a safe, secure and humane environment for both prisoners and staff, to actively assist prisoners to improve their values through reformation and rehabilitation.

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The Ghanaian Times observed that the septic tank at the Kumasi Central Prisons had deteriorated and was an eyesore, and according to DDP Tagoe, donations from the public were used for the collection of waste.

He appealed to the public to support the prisons, stressing that, “If we do not get funds from the public, you can imagine what happens to the septic tanks”.

DDP Tagoe commended the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, ultimate Fashion, Agyaba Jewelry and Nana Owusu Ansah for supporting the prisons.

Source: The Ghanaian Times