Prisons Overwhelmed By Youthful Inmates - Prison Service Management
The Management of the Ghana Prisons Service in the Ashanti region says its facilities in the region have been overwhelmed by youthful inmates serving various jail terms. Majority of the inmates have been convicted for theft, robbery, murder, assault and fraud among others.
Public Relations Officer for the Ashanti Regional Prisons Command, ASP. Richard Bukari called on civil society groups, the clergy and the traditional authority to take particular interest in the development. He explained the majority of the inmates in the facility being youth, will affect the country’s development if the issue is not addressed.
“The youthful age in Prisons is now a dominant thing we need to be discussing. Initially, we got a significant number of adults but now only the youth find themselves in prison. For me it has an effect on the nation, Ashanti region and on us as individuals’’ he said.
He explained ’’all the productive energy that should have been used in developing the nation has now been warehoused in the Prisons here in that we are losing our human resource as a nation. So any effort at making sure that they become useful citizens is welcomed’’
ASP Richard Bukari advised “As much as possible I will advise the youth to desist from whatever activities that have the potential of bringing them to prisons here for there’s a lot they can contribute to national development as some Ghanaians are doing’’.
The Kumasi Central Prison was established in 1901, after the British Government gained grounds to rule in the Ashanti Region. It was established to confine law-breakers to facilitate the smooth running of the British administration.
The Kumasi Central Prisons facility was designed to accommodate 450 inmates during the colonial days and now hosts over 2000 inmates creating uncomfortable situations for the inmates in detention associated with other contaminated diseases due to the serious congestion nature of the facility.
Although the Government has rolled out a decongestion program in prisons facilities across the country for some years now, the situation is still bad in various facilities in the Ashanti region in particular.
For some time now a Kumasi-based businesswoman based in Germany has been paying for the release of some of the youth inmates serving various custodian sentences in the Kumasi central prison who were convicted for failing to pay court fines imposed on them. In 2022, Mary Ahenka sponsored the release of 10 inmates and repeated the same during the 2023 New Year festivities.