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24.07.2005 General News

Prison Inmates Dislodge Human Excreta With Hands


It is now known that indeed some convicts of the country's prisons dislodge their own excreta from pits.

This latest revelation has corroborated what the Executive President of Cape Coast – based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Abusua Foundation, Mr. Simon Eyram Tsike-Sossah said early this year in Cape Coast which was carried by “The Crusading GUIDE” in one of its editions to the effect that some inmates of number of prisons in the country are made occasionally to empty their faecal receptable pits with their hands.

This paper's further investigations conducted have revealed among others that indeed the practice goes on periodically in the prisons.

However what goes on in some of the country's prisons cannot be classified as prisoner abuse comparable to what was reported at the Abu Ghreb detention facility in the war-torn Iraq, where some soldiers of the United States occupational forces in the country systematically subjected their detainees to.

What happens in some of the country's prisons is that all inmates have been given specific instructions not to ease themselves indiscriminatory within the prison walls, but recalcitrant as some of them are, they ease themselves using all sorts of things ranging from rags to black polythene bags before they dump them into the main receptable pits under the cover of darkness.

This practice makes the pits choke thereby making it very difficult if not impossible for their waste disposal vehicles to empty them.

A source told this paper that when that happens, the authorities engage the services of the inmates to remove the materials to pave the way for the vehicles to dislodge the human excreta.

“The inmates are made to do it themselves since nobody outside the prison walls will be willing to do such a job”, he confided in this paper.

He said even here, the inmates are not coerced to do that, and that those who do it do so on their own volition.

He said those who volunteer do dislodge the pits are given incentives and special dispensations and this normally entice many of them to offer themselves to do that kind of job.

He said among the incentives given to those who would volunteer to do it are doubling of their meals and excemption from certain kinds of work that the prisoners are suppose to do.

He debunked the assertion that the prisoners use their bare hands to dislodge the human excreta from the pits since they always use gloves, ellington boots, overall attires and nose protectors to do the job.

He said after that they undergo medical check-ups to ensure that they do not get infected by any disease.

The source therefore urged people who visit the prisons especially journalists to seek clarifications from the right sources about their activities instead of going public to paint a very different picture altogether to discredit the officers and men/women of the Ghana Prisons Service.