All seven prisons in the central region are operating below capacity, according to Superintendent Vincent Zinel, public relations officer for the central region of the Ghana Prisons Service.
The PRO said there were challenges in all prisons around the world and Ghana was no exception.
He said Ankaful Maximum Prison was the second state-of-the-art prison complex in Africa and the first in West Africa and therefore the Region was striving to fulfill its mandate of safe custody. safety of convicted persons and to ensure their reform and rehabilitation for life. successful integration into society.
Supt. Ziniel was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in reaction to the US State Department’s 2021 annual reports on human rights practices which cited Ghana as having a potentially deadly prison system.
The report released on Tuesday, April 12 described Ghana’s prisons not only as harsh but also deadly due to overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, lack of medical care, physical abuse and food shortages.
He said that while prisoners had access to clean water, food was insufficient and regularly ran out of fruit, vegetables or meat, forcing prisoners to rely on charitable donations and their families to supplement their diets.
Supt. Ziniel, who indicated that the region had a total of 2,851 prisoners undergoing reform and rehabilitation in various prions, said that prisons in the region largely had adequate rooms with public emergency services designed to ensure safe, secure and humane detention of all prisoners in accordance with international practices.
In support of his claims, he said Ankaful’s maximum prisons with a capacity of 2,000 inmates held only 1,419 while Ankaful’s main camp prison with a capacity of 700 held 530 detainees.
Others including Ankaful Annex Prison had 470 inmates but had a capacity of 500, Ankaful Communicable Disease Prison had 70 inmates with a capacity of 100 and Winneba Local with a capacity of 200 but housed some 135.
Osamkrom and Awutu-Camp prisons had 13 and 114 inmates respectively with capacities of 200.
Addressing the sanitary situation in the prisons in the region, in particular the lack of toilets as alleged in the report, Superintendent Ziniel explained that there were toilets in all rooms and outside the prison parameters for all.
Ankaful prisons, he noted, had toilets and detergents in every room to enable them to live with dignity in order to facilitate the rehabilitation process.
He said more could be done to improve food subsidies and medical care for inmates and called on the public to continue supporting the service to fulfill its mandate.
He reminded the public of their goal to improve the safety, security and transparency of Ghana’s prison system, thereby increasing public confidence in the justice system.
They work to protect society from crime and reduce recidivism, which can only be achieved if the period of detention is used to prepare prisoners to reintegrate into society after release to lead a respectful life. laws and autonomous.