Personnel of the Ghana Prisons Service have praised the current Akufo-Addo administration for paying their rent allowances as part of efforts to help find solution to the accommodation problems facing them.
The Second In-Command (2i/c) of the Prisons Service in the Western Region, ADP Adjei Arthur disclosed this when the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery visited the Sekondi Prisons and interacted with the personnel there as part of his three-day working visit to the region.
The Minister is in the Western Region to visit some of the agencies under his ministry to learn at first hand some of their challenges and how they could be tackled.
At a special durbar organized by the personnel of the Prisons Service in Sekondi in honour of Mr Dery, ADP Arthur remarked that “thanks to the minister and President Akufo-Addo, now we have started receiving rent allowance, which would go a long way in alleviating our accommodation problems.”
He, however, pointed out that the GH₡1.80 feeding fee per prisoner per day was woefully inadequate and appealed to the minister to help increase the amount so that the inmates could be fed adequately.
He indicated that overcrowding and the deplorable conditions at the Sekondi Central Prisons and other prisons in the Western Region were major concerns.
“The current overcrowding situation has placed a lot of pressure on health, transportation, and feeding demands on the prisons, hindering the smooth running of the facilities,” he added.
He attributed the overcrowding at the prisons partly to the fact that there were many remand prisoners.
The Prison Officer also complained about inadequate medicines at the prison’s infirmary to take care of the inmates.
“We will be very happy if our honourable minister could assist us in that direction. We also have serious logistics problems with regards to vehicles,” he added.
He also mentioned inadequate office furniture as one of the problems and stressed that the prison’s workshop had been dormant for some time now because of inadequate funds to purchase the requisite tools for use at the workshop.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr Dery extolled personnel of the prisons service for delivering on their mandate over the years in the wake of numerous challenges.
Mr. Dery indicated that he and his team and to a large extent the government would handle issues based on facts.
“We first have to understand the problem before we can meaningfully attempt a resolution of the matter.”
The Minister assured the personnel that his ministry would work hard to tackle the various challenges confronting the prisons service to make its operations more effective and efficient.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Sekondi