Four young persons have been freed under the Justice For All (JFA) programme being carried out by the Judicial Service to free disciplined convicts.
The four, who had finished serving an earlier sentence at the Ekuasi Camp Prison for committing various crimes, were caught by prison officials for smoking half roll wee purported to have been given to them by a "senior" in the prisons' bathroom.
Justice Clemence Honyenuga, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, before discharging them said, "These are young people who should not be mixed with hardened criminals. Besides, they have shown great remorse for the action.”
He also asked them to sign a Bond of Good Behaviour for 24 months and warned, "If you dare commit any crime within this period, you will serve 18 months in prison even before your case is heard ".
Justice Honyenuga later advised them to learn a trade at the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre or go to the Social Welfare Department to better their lives.
The Ekuasi Camp Prison, according to official Prisons records, basically houses short sentenced prisoners, therefore, it does not receive convicts directly from the courts.
Inmates transferred to the prison must serve at least a fifth of their sentence elsewhere, particularly, the Sekondi Central Prison and Tarkwa Local Prison, leaving a residual of their sentences to be served at the Prison.
The JFA programme was instituted to decongest the prisons by setting up special courts to adjudicate the cases of remand prisoners across the country.
The project, being carried out with support from DANIDA, is being implemented by the Ghana Remand Review Task Force, POS Foundation, an NGO, and chaired by the Judicial Service of Ghana.
Data available reveal that up to one third of Ghana’s prison population are people detained whilst awaiting trial, thereby creating unwarranted congestion.
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