Sekondi Prisons Fraught With Challenges

The out-going Western Regional Prisons Commander, DCOP James Ebenle Kaku, has said the deplorable and debilitating conditions at the Sekondi Central Prisons and other prisons across the region required the support of all stakeholders to mitigate the challenges. He mentioned lack of institutional vehicles to transport inmates to the courts for prosecution and hospital, as well as lack of accommodation for serving officers and frequent power outages, as some of the constraints affecting the smooth operations of the Service. Other challenges include non-availability of essential basic medical equipment at the sick-bay; insufficient medicine to meet the healthcare needs of inmates; overcrowding of inmates; seasonal flooding of prison yard due to poor drainage system; and lack of capacity to equip more inmates in rehabilitative skills. DCOP Kaku made this known at Sekondi during a Pulling-Out Ceremony to symbolise his retirement from the Ghana Prisons Service, after 34 years of active service. He said these challenges required holistic and concerted efforts of government, individuals, corporate bodies as well as non-governmental organisations to mitigate. DCOP Kaku stated as wrong, the perception that providing the needs of prisons was solely the responsibility of government, and said the contributions of other stakeholders were equally important to keep the service running. He said the Prisons Service had its doors opened to individuals and corporate bodies who wished to partner it to institute programmes, projects and policies that could improve the quality of service delivery. He, therefore, advised the public to desist from labeling and discriminating against ex-convicts and rather accept them into their fold to prevent them from reverting to their old and corrupt behaviours, which could threaten the peace and security of society. He thanked the institutions that have supported the service over the years and expressed his gratitude to those corporate bodies that supported the Service to renovate the lavatories, kitchen and the floor of the Sekondi Central Prisons. The out-going Prisons Commander said the Prisons Service still remained a sensitive institution and, therefore, urged the media to be circumspect with information emanating from the service to the public.