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28.12.2005 Regional News

Engage ex-convicts at workplaces - Advocates Archbishop Sarpong

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Kumasi, Dec 28, GNA - The Most Reverend Peter Akwasi Sarpong, the Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi, has asked employers including government to employ ex-convicts to give them regular income so that they do not return to prison. He said his call was borne out of the fact that some prisoners come out of prison completely reformed and ready to work hard. Sharing the word of God with inmates of the Kumasi Central Prison as part of his annual Boxing Day pastoral visit to the prison, Archbishop Sarpong asked the inmates to resolve not to steal or commit any crime that would necessitate their return after they had served their various terms. He therefore charged them to take the counselling they are given, the reformation or skills training they receive seriously so that they would fit into the society after serving their sentences.

The Metropolitan Archbishop pointed out that the counselling and skills training prisoners acquire would be useless if they continue to be stigmatised long after serving their sentences. Archbishop Sarpong said most ex-convicts return to prison because of society's refusals to accept them back into normal life. The Most Reverend Gabriel Justice Anokye, auxiliary Bishop of Kumasi, called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage so as to avoid creating tension. He urged the prison authorities to accord the inmates maximum dignity since anyone could be sent to jail without necessarily being a criminal. Mr Ambrose Salifu, Ashanti Regional Prisons Commander, commended the church for its continuous support for prisons, particularly those in Ashanti and appealed to the church to erect a wooden shed in the compound of the prison, which will enable the inmates to play games under and relax during the daytime.

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