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Avoka pushes for prison reforms
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Cletus Avoka, Minister for Interior
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The Minister of the Interior Friday called on the Prisons Service Council to adopt strategies that will reform inmates before they are released.

Mr Cletus Avoka said the country’s prisons had several challenges that needed to be checked urgently, while the criminal justice system needed serious reforms.

He made the call at the inauguration of the Prisons Services Council and the Ghana Immigration Service Board in Accra.

Members of the Council and the Board swore the Oaths of Allegiance, Office and Secrecy, administered by Alhaji Amadu Siedu, Minister of State at the Office of the President.

The Minister, who himself is a member of the Council and the Board, said prisoners were still fed with 60 Ghana pesewas daily, and that conditions in most prisons in the country were nothing to talk about.

“The Prison is supposed to help reform hardened criminals that is why we have pastors, medical doctors and other professionals on this Council to help us achieve our aim,” he advised, and urged the members to bring their experience, expertise and competence to bear on the Council.

Mr Avoka reminded members of the Council and the Board that the two institutions were quasi security agencies and should, therefore, be disciplined, show professionalism and be committed and loyal to the State.

He advised members of the Immigration Service Board to conduct themselves well since they were the first point of call at the country’s entry points.

Alhaji Siedu urged members of the Prisons Service Council to ensure the safe custody and welfare of prisoners to take their reformation and rehabilitation serious.

He urged members of the Ghana Immigration Service Board to effectively pursue the enforcement of all existing immigration laws and related enactments.

“As a new Council and Board, your cardinal challenge is to formulate and implement policies and strategies that will turn around the Ghana Prisons Service and Ghana Immigration Service within the shortest possible time to enable them to play their required role in the national economy.”

Alhaji Siedu pledged government’s commitment to provide the necessary support in their efforts towards the attainment of the core vision and mission of the two institutions.

Air Vice Marshall John Samoa Bruce, Chairman of the Prisons Service Council, appealed to the Ministry of the Interior to ensure it implemented the Council’s recommendations, and pledged to work to uplift the image of the Service.

Dr Adelaide Naa Amerley Kastner, who spoke on behalf of members of the Immigration Service Board, called for support from the public to help move the country forward
Source: Ghana Districts

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