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29.07.2005 General News

Six- million dollar devt package for Prison Service

Accra, July 29, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Friday said Ghana had contracted a loan agreement from Paramount Logistics of South Africa to improve on the state of the country's prisons and the Prisons Service. The first tranche of six million dollars would be used to procure vehicles, accoutrements, industrial and agricultural machinery for the training of inmates and to generate revenue for the Service.
Alhaji Mahama made this known when he reviewed a parade of 48 Prisons Cadets, who had graduated from the Prison Officers' Training School, in Accra after a six- month course in the Superior Officer Grade. The Cadets thrilled the audience including Ministers of State and Service Commanders to slow and quick marches. The Cadets dressed in the Services' ceremonial colours of red, yellow and black were backed by the Prisons Band that drew protracted cheers by playing popular highlife, gospel and hiplife music, including the controversial song, "Yefi Tuobodom". He said the Service would be provided with resources to increase the stock of accoutrements and to provide other logistics including vehicles under an Exim Bank of India Facility.
The Service is also a beneficiary under the second Spanish Protocol for the procurement of similar facilities. The graduates were exposed to courses like: "Correctional Management, "Penal Law", "Staff Functions", "Penology", "Management" and "Martial Arts".
Alhaji Mahama said Government had released nine billion cedis from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund to improve on sanitation in prisons and barracks. "Part of this money was used to procure sanitation vehicles while modern ablusion facilities have been provided in 38 prisons and barracks. " I am also informed that a vigorous exercise is in progress to replace all pan latrines with water closets in prison cells throughout the country," he said.
Alhaji Mahama said the Ministry of The Interior had initiated a programme for the establishment of a common Staff College for all agencies and departments under it. "This will make it possible for senior officers of the agencies under the Ministry, including the Prisons Service, to be instructed in courses relevant to their work and to deal with the increasing sophistication of crime."
The Vice President said Government expected the Service to revamp and reinvigorate all moribund industries in the prisons and to come out with schemes to market their goods and services. He tasked the Service to liase with the Ministry of Education and Sports to introduce academic programmes for prisoners, who were desirous of improving on their academic status. Alhaji Mahama asked personnel of the service to accord decency and decorum to the inmates and not to debase their dignity and worth as human beings. The Vice President presented awards to the graduates, who excelled during their training. Evelyn Ghartey was adjudged the best All Round