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08.04.2007 Feature Article

Integrating Art and Craft with prison service.

A prison sentence is facing the harsh reality of life. Evil crimes, greed, evil deeds results to prison. Locked away like a bad animal but one is human and humans need company. No one thinks of tasting this experience in his or her lifetime.

For those who experience this harsh reality of life the picture is nasty.
It is a lonely place and friends and relations could easily drift away leaving you entirely on your own. Life's purpose all of a sudden becomes meaningless to the individual.

Could we as a nation bridge the gap of the lonely prison life for our unfortunate brothers or sisters who end up that way?

Prisons could be a reality check for the individual going through life whether in a prison cell or in one's own home.

A time to do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and Threats) of one's self and see what more we have life to make life worth living.

Are our prison services providing the right services for all prisoners? For example perhaps providing gym, occupational therapies and interesting community service within the prison service, IT training, art, craft and sculpture training. These are all strategies to keep the prisoners focus in life and perceive life from a different perspective other than what they know.

This approach would prepare the prison with skills they never had and re direct their energy into a more meaning purposeful way to benefit our society when they are released.

What do the society get when prisoner is released? Fear of more problems arising as a result from the sentence perhaps! What is the impact when we as a society failed to provide the appropriate strategies for prisoners in our care? Ghana may need to consider emulating what is done in Sweden for example, offer a more positive outcome to prisoners, so that after their prison sentence come out feeling more positive and productive for the community in which they belong and our economy too.

We may need to link businesses to prisons either to offer jobs that could do within the prison walls or be paid for it as incentives. Prenticeship training and other skills to all prisoners offering them with a career before they leave the prison walls.

It is about time, we as a nation start focusing strategically on plight of prisoners. It is just a shame to waste such talents, which could be channelled into business adventures. Yes it is good to deny the freedom of the links but as the same time we need to focus in re directing that energy prisoner have to benefit our nation.

We all need each other and I'm just pleading with various organisations not to shun prisoners but see them as people who need our help to stand on their own two feet once again.

Mercy Adede Bolus
Mercy Adede Bolus, © 2007

This author has authored 172 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: MercyAdedeBolus

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