The Ghana Prisons Service says as at May 2, this year, the country recorded inmates in excess of 14,097,out of the national authorised figure of 9,945.
Isaac Kofi Egyir, Director General, Ghana Prisons Service, said the issue of overcrowding remained a challenge to the Service as large number of inmates competed for limited resources daily.
The Director General (DG) of the Ghana Prisons Service said this in a speech read on his behalf by Gloria Essandoh, Chief Legal Officer of the Service, at a day’s training programme for court reporters in Accra.
The training was under the theme: ” Understanding the Criminal Justice System of Ghana for Effective Rapportage.”
The DG said the Service was taking measures to reduce overcrowding and ameliorate prison conditions and called for support of all stakeholders.
He mentioned the construction of 240 capacity camp prison at Ejura in the Ashanti region by the Church of Pentecost and the construction of three other camps in Nsawam, Obuasi and Damango as some of strategies to fix the challenges.
The DG lauded the Justice for All Programme by the Judicial Service, which had led to reduction in the numbers in some prisons.
He said the rate of over crowding had reduced from 72.41 percent in 2007 to 35.11 percent as at September 2021 and attributed the reduction to activities of the Justice for All Programme.
The DG recounted that the Justice for all Programme had led to the admission of 1,563 persons to bail, while 180 persons had been convicted, and 28 persons were referred to the Psychiatric Hospital among others.
The DG said the Service was also developing a health policy to strengthen healthcare to ensuring optimum health for both inmates and officers.
On education, the Ghana Prisons Boss, said in the year 2018, a total of 420 inmates made up of 349 prisoners and 71 juveniles had been enrolled into formal and informal education.
“In the year 2020, there were 250 adults and 23 juveniles in Senior High School across the country.
“A total of 500 adults and 84 juveniles were in Junior High Schools. Some 34 of them comprising 28 juveniles sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination and recorded 100 percent pass .”
Mr Jonathan Osei Wusu, Executive Director, POS Foundation, said the training was to help reporters understand the processes in reporting on Criminal Justice issues
The training was under the auspices of POS Foundation, the Judicial Service and Open Society Initiative for West Africa.