Government and non Governmental Organizations have been asked to urgently salvage the deplorable and horrific conditions in Ghana's prisons.
A 37-year-old ex-convict who narrated his horrendous experience to Joy News, noted with distress how homosexuality and drug peddling are rife in jails.
Even though prisons are meant to help reform people, Andy Atta Peprah said worse crimes than may have sent convicts there go on, which negatively impact on the lives of inmates and also help to produce more hardened criminals into the society.
The reformist, who had served a two-year term at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison for failing to repay a loan he contracted to promote his business, was only released about a week ago.
“There is something called 'Kpeeh' that is homosexuality, it is very rampant there and serious…you go to jail for two or five years and nobody is visiting you, what do you do? You have to sell your body.”
Atta Peprah said people who are hungry for sex engage their fellow male inmates in mutual carnal sex; they succeed by persuading and stimulating the food of the supposed “feminine”.
He said because they don't work to earn a living there, most of the prisoners value any little money that comes their way. “500 (old Ghanaians cedis) is big money in prison. You can bribe somebody with 500 cedis to kill somebody for you.”
He noted that all these things happen under the watch of prison wardens who appear helpless, because they themselves have lots of personal problems to manage.
Atta Peprah alleged that the drug business is really booming, at least, at where he served his jail term.
He explained that daring prisoners who go out with officers for manual works do sneak out, buy drugs especially marijuana, wrap it in sizes and stick them in their anus; the only convenient way they can smuggle them into the cells.
“They are searched at the gate and if they are not arrested, when they get into the yard they sell a stick of the wrap for 4000 cedis and people scramble to buy it.”
Few of the prisoners may not engage in this ignoble act, however, woe betides whoever dares to report a fellow inmate.
Story by Isaac Essel