A 13-member Council for the Ghana Prisons Service has been inaugurated to assist in its smooth running.
Three of the members were nominated by the President namely; Pastor Stephen Wengam of the Assemblies of God Church, who chairs the Council, Mr Solomon Appiah and Nana Baffour Okumanin.
Other members are; Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, Minister of the Interior, Ms Matilda Baffour-Awuah, Director General of Prisons, Dominic Ayine, Attorney General’s Department, Mr Amoako-Adjei, Ghana Bar Association, Mr Sampson Nii Trebi, Department of Social Welfare, and Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, National House of Chiefs.
The rest are Mr Leopold Ansah, Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Salisu Anduna, Ghana Prisons Service, Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, Ghana Medical Association, and Mr Benson Tongo Baba, Retired Prison Officers Association of Ghana.
Members swore the oath of office and secrecy.
Mr James Agalga, Deputy Minister for the Interior, who inaugurated the Council, said its establishment was in the Draft Prisons Bill which would soon be transformed into an Act of Parliament.
He said the Council was put in place to ensure the safe custody and welfare of prisoners and undertake reformation and rehabilitation of the prisons.
The Council would advise the Minister on the formulation of policies, ensure the implementation of the functions of the service and direct its administration.
It would also be responsible for determining recruitment, selection, training and promotion of personnel of the service and perform any other functions for the purpose of achieving its objectives.
Mr Agalga assured the Council of Government’s support to the Ghana Prisons Service as the success of the service was key to ensuring the safe custody and welfare, reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners.
He urged members to work as a team and help the service to grow devoid of rancour.
He reminded members of their call to duty and their readiness to serve is what had been considered in the acceptance of their nominations.
Mr Agalga said the forum organised to collate views on non-custodial sentencing was positive as all the stakeholders were pushing for it to help decongest the prisons adding that the Ministry would partner with the Council to pursue measures on it.
Pastor Wengam said he was aware of the enormous task being on the Council for the second time and expressed the hope that with the pursuant of good measures, the prisons would be turned into transformational centres.
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