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14.05.2005 Regional News

Tema CHRAJ recommends the closure of female cells in Tema

By GNA

Tema, May 14, GNA - The Tema office of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has recommended the closure of the only female cell in Tema at Community four for its deplorable state. It has also recommended the relocation of the Ashaiman Central cell and the Community station for the same reason.

The Commission also suggested the establishment of a juvenile cell or borstal home in Tema municipality to help reform juveniles rather than grouping them together with adult offends as well as the establishment of Prisons within the catchments area.

The recommendations were contained in a report on its findings of the state of the 17 police stations in the municipality during its normal inspection.

Mrs Joyce Boahen, Acting Director of Tema Office of the CHRAJ, signed it.

It was noticed that the state of both the female and Ashaiman Central cells are not only congested but "stenchy, dark, too much heat, poor sanitary conditions of toilet and bath", describing the situation as inhuman.

The report said the grouping of juveniles among adults would rather make them come out hardened than ever while the absence of prison compel the grouping of remand prisoners and first time suspects which does not have good impact on the latter.

Some juveniles were found among the adults in the cells. At Community 18, she described the new Police station that is in a storey building as inappropriate and therefore recommends its relocation.

Majority of the 118 inmates made up of 113 males and five females between ages 16 and 50 are employed while stealing robbery and fraud topped the crimes committed. Other offences that have led to their incarceration are murder, armed robbery, fraud, rape, defilement, causing harm, stealing, possession of narcotic drugs, assault of public officers and careless driving.

She said some of the police personnel complained of lack of accommodation as they pair with colleagues, low salaries, delay in promotions and feeding and bearing the medical bills of the inmates as they are not reimbursed. The report recommended the expansion and renovation of most of the 17 police stations visited, as their present states are inappropriate. Mrs Boahen appealed to the public to assist the police to maintain more humane police stations and cells since the government alone, with its numerous commitments, cannot bear all the responsibilities. She urged the public, churches, identifiable groups and organisations to avail themselves for CHRAJ's public education programmes to learn more about their rights and responsibilities. 15 May 05

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