Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, the General-Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, has entreated Ghanaians to accept ex-convicts into their homes, saying it was difficult for the church to even contract marriages for them.

Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong, also a member of the Ghana Prisons Council, said this at the inauguration of the Governing Council of the Service in Accra.
“We have challenge with public acceptance of prisoners who had served their jail term, prisoners that had been reformed and even learnt certain trades in our prisons come out and family members and society are not ready for them”.

“Sometimes churches are guilty and ex-convicts come and we are not even ready to let them marry certain innocent girls and we need to respond to that,” he stated.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong expressed optimism that the Council would mobilise funds to support the Efiase Project, which was initiated by the previous administration in order to give it a new face to meet the set objectives.

The Efiase Project is an initiative of the Prison Service Council to create awareness about prison conditions and raise funds from corporate Ghana, institutions and individuals to improve the conditions of prisons and transform them into reformation centres.
Rev. Dr. Opuni-Frimpong called for support from the various stakeholders to mechanise the agricultural project being undertaken by the Prison Administration as well as getting marketing companies to market and accept produce from the Service to enhance their financial resources.

He noted that the Government attached great importance to human dignity and rights, therefore it would work assiduously for the Service to get new prison facilities and relocate old ones to appropriate places as directed by the government.
He gave the assurance that the Council would prepare grounds for professional training and re-training of prison personnel so that they could offer the required training to inmates as required by international conventions.

On behalf of the Council members, he thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them and gave the assurance that they would work diligently to meet their mandate.
“We are ready to serve our country and God so call us anytime and we will be there,” he said.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia had earlier administered the Oath of Office and Oath of Secrecy to the 13-member governing council and charged them to come out with strategic policy direction that would take the Prison Service from its current predicaments.

He charged the Council to adopt public-private partnerships approach in resolving the prison infrastructure challenge and relocation of the old ones to appropriate places.
Dr Bawumia said: “The Prison Service should rebrand itself with diligence and professionalism so that the public will have trust and confidence in the prison administration”.
The Chapter 16 of the 1992 Constitution established the Prison Service and mandates it as the custodian, rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners.
GNA