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Religion Tue, 22 May 2012

Clergyman unhappy about conditions at prisons

Bishop Charles Agyin Asare, General Overseer of Word Miracle Church International, on Tuesday observed that facilities at the country's prisons had fallen below the required standards, and called on stakeholders to ensure prison reforms.

He noted that the country’s prisons had problems of overcrowding, poor nutrition, lack of ventilation, inadequate medical facilities and supplies.

Bishop Agyin Asare made the observation when he was presenting items worth GH¢20,000 to the Borstal Institute in Accra.

The items included collapsible hospital beds with mattresses, bedsheets, wheel chairs, refrigerator, paints and brushes and drip stands.

The presentation formed part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the church.

Bishop Agyin Asare noted that “some remanded persons are treated as convicts and incarcerated for unduly long periods, and sometimes forgotten about.”

He said the prison was supposed to be a place for reform, and expressed worry that prisoners were being neglected and rejected by society.

The clergyman advised inmates to take advantage of opportunities available at the Institute, to learn skills and trade and return to society as reformed people.

Mr. Stephen Cofie, Deputy Director of the Borstal Institute, said most of the inmates were there for various crimes such as rape, defilement, and assault.

He said there were about 121 inmates, aged between 14 and 18, and most of them spent about three months to three years at the facility.

Mr. Cofie commended the church for the gesture, and appealed to Government to sustain its support for the Institute.

The 2009 Prisons Annual Report indicates that about 13,778 persons were held in prison.**

Source: GNA