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14.10.2005 General News

Prisoners have equal rights like other citizens - Dery

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Baayiri(UWR),Oct. 14, GNA - The Upper West Regional Coordinating Council is collaborating with District Assemblies in the Region to assist discharged prisoners to undertake income generating activities to discourage them from committing crimes and return to prison. Mr. Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister who announced this said "in this way, they would not only be self-reliant, but be useful in society when people no longer live in fear and anxiety. "

He was on a familiarisation tour of the Wa Central Prisons farms at Baayiri.

Mr Dery appealed to the officers to treat prisoners leniently to enable them reform and come out as useful citizens in society. "They might have faulted in one way or the other, but the fact still remains that they are Ghanaians and therefore, deserve all the rights and protection just as any other citizen," He added. Mr. Dery told the prisoners that their situation was not hopeless and urged them to respect all rules and regulations in the prisons to serve as good role models in society on their release. He said "some of you are victims of circumstances, but the Government is putting in place measures to make you comfortable and viable in society."

The Regional Minister commended the Ghana Prisons Service for cultivating food crops to supplement Government's efforts and promised to support them to realize their goals in the region. Mr. Joseph Kwaw Yankson, Upper West Regional Commander of Prisons said the inmates cultivated 31 acres of food crops and were expecting good yield.

He said they cultivated 25 acres of maize, three acres of okro, two acres of pepper and an acre of woodlot and was optimistic to increase their yield than the 206 bags of maize harvested last year. Mr Yankson said the inmates would soon start a piggery. Some of the inmates complained about poor feeding, over working, poor health and toilet facilities.