The Ghana Prisons Service has stated that more than half of the inmates are within the economically active population.
“What is more worrying is the fact that young persons between the ages of 18-25 constitute 50.68%, which is more than half of the total number of inmates admitted into custody,” Chief PRO of the Ghana Prisons Service, Chief Superintendent Courage Atsem bemoaned.
Speaking at the launch of the ‘Decriminalizing vagrancy laws and advocacy project’ (DVLA) in Accra on Friday, May 28, 2021, the PRO also pointed out that 38.13% of the inmates were incarcerated for stealing.
Making a case for a non-custodial sentencing regime, Chief Superintendent Atsem admitted that the 50.68% meant that many of Ghana’s young people who were supposed to be the country’s future are increasingly getting into conflict with the law.
He revealed that there are situations where inmates are unhappy when they finish their jail term because of the hostile reception that society gives to ex-convicts.
Many offenders also live on the streets; hence they become disappointed after their jail term because they have nowhere to stay.
“There are instances where inmates become worried, moody and sometimes begin to weep simply because they do not know where to return upon discharge since prior to their incarceration, they were living on the streets and therefore dread going back there,”he observed.
About the Project
With the increasing number of inmates in Ghana’s prisons, crime prevention organization Crime Check Foundation (CCF) has partnered with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to advocate the annulment of vagrancy laws.
The project seeks to decriminalize poverty.
By: Stella Annan |myactiveonline.com