The Ghana Prisons Service has appealed to philanthropists and other private individuals to adopt inmates and provide them with training.
This will help such persons obtain employable skills to avoid crimes in the country.
The officer in charge of the Gender Unit, Assistant Director of Prisons (ADP) Augustina Mensah-Fiadzo, who has been speaking to Prime Morning, said that some inmates are technically and vocationally skilled but do not have the needed support to be on their own.
Although the Service provides vocational training to some of the inmates, there are no startups for them to begin work after they have been released, thus making them return to their criminal ways.
“When they’re about to go, we have trained them. What they need is to go out and settle. You just give them that support. Society can support them to settle down. So, you can decide to adopt an inmate. If you adopt the inmate, and whenever she’s going, you just provide whatever she needs, and you make sure that you follow up on the person,” she suggested.
She also believes that idleness and social stigma are factors that contribute to most ex-convicts engaging in criminal activity after they are released.
For this reason, she has urged people to embrace and affiliate with ex-convicts who join society after their prison terms.
“I also want to appeal to society; let’s not reject them. They’re our own brothers and sisters. They’ll come back to our society; let’s welcome them with love because when you make them feel like they’re not wanted, the tendency for them to come back to prison is high. So we want to plead with the society: please accept them, love them, and help them settle down so that they don’t come back to the prison,” she pleaded.
The ADP further indicated that the Service has introduced a “Justice for All” programme that seeks to deal with victims’ cases faster while they are in custody to help decongest.
Meanwhile, she has revealed that the institution is in talks with the government to allow minor criminals to do community service instead of imprisonment so as to reduce congestion in the prisons.
Also, DSP Irene Pokuah Wiredu, the Head of Media Relations in the Public Relations Unit, expressed gratitude to Ghanaians for the love and support they have shown the inmates over the years through donations.
However, she called on NGOs and philanthropists to give more support to the inmates as the institution is open to receiving them.
“Our doors are still open for donations. Ghanaians are really doing well. Day-in and day-out, they flood our place with donations and a lot of items for our inmates,” she said.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, DSP Irene is appealing to individuals to provide female inmates with sanitary pads and other necessities to put smiles on their faces.
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