Amnesty report paints gloomy picture of Ghana prisons
4/25/2012 8:00:45 PM -
Amnesty International has released its latest report on the state of prisons in Ghana with some damming revelations.
The report, 'Prisoners are the bottom of the Pile: Human Rights of Prisoners in Ghana' discovered worsening cases of overcrowding, inadequate feeding budgets, limited medication for inmates, poor infirmaries and poor care for pregnant prisoners.
The report for instance said most prison structures were generally very old and in dire need of refurbishment, expansion or replacement.
It criticized little efforts to reduce overcrowding in cells, saying in some cases, there were more than four prisoners for every available place in a cell.
The report said a single water closet without privacy served a number of prisoners while plastic bags were sometimes used at nature's call.
Soap and toilet paper were also usually in short supply.
Six prison facilities Nsawam, Tamale, Kumasi, Sunyani and Sekondi Prisons in addition to the Senior Correctional Home in Accra were included in the research.
Six male prisons and four female prisons were visited.
The research however discovered budget for food per prisoner had tripled from 60 Ghana pesewas to 1.80 Cedis.
James Welsh of Amnesty's London office who is a researcher on health and detention told newsmen in Accra government must take urgent steps to address the issues to avoid an epidemic in the country's prisons.
He advised that where prison is used as punishment, it should be consistent with national laws and international human rights standards.
The Director of Amnesty International Ghana, Lawrence Amesu said Amnesty's work is not meant to find faults but complement developmental efforts.