Ghana
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Don’t shun ex-convicts – Deputy Interior Minister

A Deputy Minister for the Interior, Naana Eyiah, has entreated people not to shun ex-convicts but rather accept them back into their fold to encourage them to contribute meaningfully to national development.

Rejecting ex-convicts, she said, worsened their already broken ego and affected their reintegration process, which would lead to some of them committing more crimes to enable them to return to prison.

“The clear effect will be high rates of re-offending, which is a danger to the safety of society. Judging from these facts, I believe the time has come for all of us to reconsider our thoughts on imprisonment. Let’s try to accept and support them,” she added.

Ms Eyiah was speaking as the Reviewing Officer at the passing-out parade of Recruit Course 121 of the Prisons Service in Accra yesterday.

In all, 445 recruits, made up of 246 men and 199 women, graduated, after nine months of intensive training.

Improving capacity

The deputy minister said while efforts were being made to increase the number of prison officers, attention must also be paid to the development of their capacity, including the provision of needed logistics and improved conditions of service for effective delivery.

She said the current average age of a convict was about 25 years, adding: “With this youthful nature of the average convict in mind, the service provides opportunities for the development of skills and talents of inmates through formal education, as well as technical and vocational training.”

She said those skills and talents would offer inmates better job options for economic empowerment after serving their terms.

Ms Eyiah told the recruits that “imprisonment is not for punishment; respect the human rights of prisoners and avoid acts that tend to worsen the pain of being imprisoned”.

“You must also abide by the rules and regulations that pertain to your official duties and direct your energies to self-development,” she added.

The minister commended the recruits for a successful training and graduation and congratulated award winners on distinguishing themselves creditably.

Awardees

Recruit Officer Prince Mbri emerged the Overall Best.

Others were: Daniel Duro – Best in Physical Training; Nurudeen Abdul Malik – Best in Drill; Wajah Abdullah Humu – Commandant’s Award, and Reagan Anthony Quarm – Best in Academics.