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04.01.2006 General News

Govt will take steps to reduce congestion in prisons

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Kumasi, Jan. 4, GNA - The government is taking pragmatic measures to reduce remand custody as a means to decongest the country's prisons. Ministry of the Interior is currently dialoguing with the Chief Justice and the Attorney General's Department to find a way to reduce the processes and procedures at the courts to speed up trial of suspects and institute correctional sentences for petty offenders. Captain Nkrabea Effah-Dartey (rtd), Deputy Minister of the Interior, announced this when addressing inmates of the Kumasi Central Prisons as part of a day's working visit to the Ashanti region on Wednesday.

He expressed concern about the number of suspects who had been remanded in custody for several years and said the country could not look on unconcern for its energetic youth to continue to remain in prisons custody for petty crimes without trial. Currently, there are 598 suspects on remand at the Kumasi Central Prisons. There are also 763 convicted prisoners and 20 condemned prisoners.

The Deputy Minister said the Government was making frantic efforts to improve conditions in the country's prisons. Captain Effah-Dartey also addressed Prison and Police Officers at separate durbars at the regional police and prisons headquarters. He advised the officers and men to exhibit high sense of professionalism in their operations to win the support and confidence of the public.

The Deputy Minister commended the Ashanti Regional Police Command for recording zero crime during the Christmas and New Year festivities and said through the co-operation of the public and the media as well as an increase of police presence, crime wave could be reduce drastically in the country.

Captain Effah-Dartey said his Ministry was studying some proposals to solve accommodation problems facing the police service and appealed to personnel to keep their surroundings clean always. He said the Government would endeavour to improve working conditions of the personnel and advised them to be loyal to the Government and the State.