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17.01.2005 General News

Government asked to speed up prison reforms

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Koforidua, Jan. 17, GNA - Government has been called upon to expedite action on the reformation of the country's penal system, which include the introduction of parole and community service by prisoners.

Mr Michael Quaye, former Eastern Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, who made the call, said lack of non-custodial sentence had led to the "unjustifiable criminalisation of every person who fell foul with the law, however, menial the breach was".

Speaking at a New Year dinner/fundraising ceremony organized by the Koforidua Prison Discharge Board, at the weekend, he noted that not all inmates of the prisons were criminals.

He expressed the need to save minors and persons involved in petty crimes from incarceration to prevent over-crowding of the prisons. The Coordinator of the Board, Rev. David Ofosuhene, appealed to the general public to contribute generously to support efforts at reforming and rehabilitating prison inmates.

A Counsellor of the Ghana Education Service, Mr Baa Ntiri, expressed concern about the lack of functioning Borstal Homes in the country to tackle juvenile delinquency.

The Officer-In-Charge of the Koforidua Prison, Assistant Director of Prison, Lawrence Amankwanor, called for community interest in the condition of the prisons and inmates.

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