Gov’t to champion non-custodial sentencing law – Dr. Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has hinted that government intends to work towards the introduction of non-custodial sentencing law. This they [government] believe “will offer many more non- custodial sentence options to our judges so as to avoid the congestion and human rights abuses and all the associated ills that we are currently observing in the Prisons”. The Vice President was addressing the newly inaugurated board members of the Ghana Prisons Service Council on Tuesday July 11 in Accra. Dr. Bawumia also disclosed that government is aware of the inadequate officer-to-inmate ratio for which reason government has asked the prison service to recruit new personnel to enhance the service. “To address this gap, Government has requested the Prisons Service to initiate the process of recruitment to increase the personnel level and improve on our services. The Ghana Prisons Service has been given approval to recruit 1,000 personnel to make progress towards meeting the international best practices in prisons administration”, he said. The Vice President also raised concerns about the human rights of prisoners and urged the  Prisons Service Council to ensure that prison officers conduct themselves professionally without compromising the rights of prisoners. “Though inmates are confined as prisoners, let us not forget that they have rights which should not be taken for granted. This requires the professional training and retraining of our officers using modern methods and following acceptable processes and procedures in prisons administration” he cautioned. He challenged the council to also be proactive and address the concerns of prison officers in real time so as not to push them to resort to industrial actions in addressing their grievances. He charged them to be diligent and professional to give the image of the prison service a facelift.

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By P.D Wedam || Ghana]]>