The Majority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says the country's prisons instead of correction, appear to worsen criminals.
Advocating for reform, the Member of Parliament for Suame Constituency urged all three arms of government to act in a complementary manner to ensure that beyond making Ghana’s prisons fit for human habitation, the policy of is scraped as it has not achieved the desire of reforming the prisoner.
“I think the policy should change, the policy of imprisonment should change as a country,” he told Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah.
The attempts to decongest Ghana’s prisons predates Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s suggestion.
The introduction of the Justice For All Programme in 2007 was for that purpose.
It has been reported that the programme has resulted in the reduction of remand prisoners from 33 per cent in 2007 to 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.
Since its inception, cases have been heard by a judicial team from Accra, rendering the process slow.
However, starting from October this year the Justice For All Programme will be decentralized.
Justice Clemence Honyenuga, chairman for the programme says High Courts judges in all the sixteen regions have been tasked to adjudicate on cases related to the Justice for All programme.
But the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs believes the time is opportune to replace the prison policy with the concept of allowing offenders to do Community Service instead of incarceration.
“We should be subjecting people to some form of community service which currently does not form part of our legal regime,” he suggested.