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21.04.2004 General News

$25 million for transformation of Prison Service

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Kumasi, April 21, GNA- The government has voted 25 million dollars to transform the Prison Service, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister of Interior announced in Kumasi on Tuesday.

Under the programme, a new prisons complex would be constructed at Doryumu in the Greater Accra region where inmates from the Borstal Institute and James Town prisons would be transferred.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang announced this when he addressed separate durbars of the Police and Prison Officers in Kumasi during a day's working visit to Ashanti Region on Wednesday.

He said the government had also secured a 19.2 million-dollar loan from the South African government to provide workshop equipment and vehicles as well as training programmes for officers of the Prison Service.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang said prison officers played an important role in the reformation of inmates and urged them to adopt new and humane approach to treat them.

The Interior Minister said in its bid to ensure that the country's security forces became second to none it would provide equipment valued at 21 million dollars to the Police Service.

The equipment would include Mowags, helicopters, snifer dogs, gymnasium and other accoutrements that would enhance the work of the personnel.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang said plans were also far advanced to acquire digital communication and night vision gadgets for the police service to enable them to perform their duties effectively, especially during the night.

He said nine billion cedis had been secured from the HIPC fund to provide sanitary equipment and facilities at the various police barracks throughout the country.

The Interior Minister urged the security agencies to rise above partisan politics and treat all manner of persons who come to them equally.

He said Ghanaians demand nothing but dedication, commitment and loyalty to the state by the security personnel.

Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, denied that the government was using the security agencies to harass its political opponents and said the government would not compromise on the rule of law in the country.

He however, said the Ashanti Regional Security Council would not countenance any activities by groups or individuals to cause insecurity in the country.