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DI advocates prison reforms

General News

The Danquah Institute says prison should not be an institution to deform the inmates but a place to reform them.

The Danquah Institute says prison should not be an institution to deform the inmates but a place to reform them.

 

The DI’s Executive Director, Kingsley Nyarko, believes when the inmates are reformed, they will in turn give back to society when they re-integrate, making them assets to the nation, rather than liabilities.

“The prison system should be a ground for reformation so that when they join the society, they would exhibit behaviours that are worthy for societal standards and emulation,” Dr Nyarko added.

He made this remark when officials of DI visited the Nsawam Medium Prison as part of activities to mark the 10 years anniversary of the institute.

In accordance with Chapter 16 of the 1992 Constitution, the Prison Service is mandated as the custodian, rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners. However, in some cases, the reform is not effective on some inmates, as they return to their criminal acts, owing to the inability of society to support their re-integration. As a result, they become in most cases stigmatized and socially excluded.

The DI boss, however, expressed satisfaction at some of the educational interventions that are currently ongoing in the Nsawam Prison that included the distant learning education that is being arranged for inmates who have concluded their senior high school education in prison.

“I think that there could be collaboration between the prison authorities and the University of Ghana distant learning programme to see how we can help them to acquire some knowledge that would help them better their lives,” he postulated.

Speaking to the media, Dr. Nyarko further proposed that the cell that confined late J.B Danquah, until his death in the Special block of the Nsawam Prison, be turned into a tourist attraction.

“When I entered the cell, I felt so sad, looking at a cell that took one person. Now four people find themselves in that particular place and we are thinking about what we can do to make the block something memorable because J. B Danquah was a huge figure, an extraordinary  Ghanaian, a patriot and nationalist.”

In his contribution, the Assistant Director of Prisons, Samuel Owusu Amponsah, called for support from individuals and civil society organizations to further cater for the prisoners.

The prison official took executives of the Danquah Institute on a tour to the Special block of the Nsawam Prison to visit prisoners and, particularly, the cell of late J. B. Danquah, one of the founding fathers of the nation, who died in detention.

Items donated to prison inmates included cartons of canned tomatoes, bags of rice, assorted drinks and biscuits and toiletries worth GH₵20,000.