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02.11.2005 Regional News

Relatives urged to accept ex-convicts

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Kumasi, Nov 02, GNA - Mrs Florence Appiah-Acheampong, the Ashanti Regional Deputy Commander of Prisons, has advised relatives of ex-convicts to show compassion and accept them back wholeheartedly into their folds.

She said the stigmatization and the pointing of accusing fingers often made ex-convicts felt unwanted in the society and drove them to commit another crime that would send them back to jail. Mrs Appiah-Acheampong said this when the Islamic Center for the Relief of Deprived, a Kumasi-based NGO, presented used clothes, food items and soaps worth 5.5 million cedis to the inmates of the Kumasi Central Prisons on Tuesday.

She said most ex-convicts had enormous potentials that could be tapped and develop to benefit the society. ''What is needed is encouragement and acceptance in order for them to start life again peacefully.''

Mrs Appiah-Acheampong thanked the organization for remembering the inmates during the Ramadan and said such love was what Allah wanted from His children.

Rev Fr Martin Padi, the Ashanti Regional Prisons Chaplain, advised the youth against drugs and other social vices that could send them to jail.

He said prison was never a place to stay and urged them to resist all temptations that could lead to their incarceration. Sheik Ibrahim Lamuinu Yusuf, Deputy Director of the organization, said the donation was to show their love for the inmates during the Edul-Fitr festivities.

He said the organization would continue to support the inmates to live comfortable while they were still serving their terms. Mr Iddrisu Keegan Ahmed, Programmes and Research Officer, said the organization was giving 52 HIV/AIDS orphans skills training.