THE GHANA Prisons Service is embarking on a project dubbed “Efiase”, the Akan language meaning of “Prison”, which is to seek a better way of orienting the public on the role and functions of the Ghana Prisons Service.
It is also to equip and empower the service to reform and train those who get entangled with the law and are sent to prison.
William Asiedu, the Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service made the disclosure at a press soiree at Prisons Headquarters in Accra.
According to Mr. Asiedu, “during the first phase of the project, management shall educate the general public as regards the roles and functions of the Prisons Service, and also highlight the conditions and general situation of the prisoners.”
The second aspect, he noted, would focus on how much positive change could be made if resources and commitment were made available to penal administration in relation to the Ghana Prisons Service.
“The third phase shall highlight the successes chalked by the Prisons Service, in spite of severe constraints confronting Prison officers in their quest to reform prisoners,” Mr. Asiedu stated.
On measures being taken to make ex-convicts beneficial to the society after their release, Mr. Asiedu mentioned that “we have started informal and formal educational programmes at Nsawam.
The President's Special Initiative (PSI) on Education has been established in four major prisons namely, Nsawam, Kumasi, Tamale and Wa.
“Nsawam already has ICT Training for prisoners. The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has offered to put together a comprehensive educational package for all categories of prisoners-through the initiative of the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor,” he stated.
For his part, Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Kwame Osei-Prempeh said for fear of prison, people shy away from politics.
He appealed to the prison authorities to make their facilities conducive for habitation by upgrading them.
The Prison Service in cooperation with Origin8 and Saatchi & Saatchi produced a documentary dubbed 'Making a Difference - Project Efiase Igniting a Positive Reform In Ghana's Prisons' which was previewed by the media and prison authorities.
According to the project coordinators, the documentary would be aired on most of the television networks to showcase conditions in the prisons and what the authorities are doing to make the place a better one.
Present at the soiree was B. T Baba, the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC). The Prison Band was on hand to dish out good music to spice up the food and drinks.
By Wisdom P. Awuku & Sylvanus Nana Kumi