A 13-member Prisons Service Council has been inaugurated to advise the President on matters of policy relating to the organization and maintenance of prison system in Ghana, as well as advice on the role of the Service, it’s budgeting, finance, administration, and the promotion of officers above the rank of Assistant Director of Prisons.
They are also to make regulations for the performance of its functions under the 1992 Republican Constitution or any other law and for the effective and efficient administration of prisons and the Prisons Service.
The members include Most Reverend Peter Paul Yelezuome Angkyier, as Chairman; Honourable Ambrose Dery, Interior Minister; Mr. Patrick Darko Missah, Acting Director-General of Prisons; Dr. Frank Ankobea, Ghana Medical Association and Mr. Kwasi Amoako Adjei, Ghana Bar Association.
Others are Madam Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, a representative of the Minister of justice and Attorney-General; Mr. Benjamin Akonu Otoo, Department of Social Welfare; Reverend Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, Christian Council of Ghana and Buipe-Wura Mahama Abdulai Jinapor II, National House of Chiefs.
The rest are ADP Samuel Akampure Akolbire, a representative of Senior Officers of the Prisons Service; Ms. Dorcas Bonnah, a representative of Subordinate Officers; Madam Matilda Baffour-Awuah, the President’s nominee and Madam Sarah M. Adetola, also a nominee.
Inaugurating the 7th Council at the Ministry of Interior in Accra, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, congratulated the members on behalf of the president for accepting to serve Mother Ghana, and pledged the government’s support to ensure they succeed. As a maiden task, he charged the members to as a matter of urgency tackle the water problem faced by most prisons across the country.
The vice president said the Ghana-China loan agreement has a 25,000 Housing Unit component for security services, for which the Ghana Prisons Service would have its share to overcome some of its accommodation challenges. He also announced the approval of the recruitment of One Thousand officers into the Service to help improve upon the staff-inmate ratio.
Dr. Bawumia entreated the Council members to together with the Prisons Administration to take advantage of the Public-Private Partnership concept to critically consider and supervise the relocation of some prisons facilities in Accra and Kumasi to a more appropriate place to meet acceptable standards.
He reminded the members of the Service that, the Prisons Service is an essential service provider and therefore you must not take to industrial actions in addressing grievances, and called on the Council to be proactive and quick in dealing with issues that are brought before it in order not to push officers to the wall.
This Council succeeds the 6th Council which was chaired by Reverend Dr. Stephen Wengam. The 6th Council initiated the ‘Efiase’ Project to better the poor conditions of prisoners in the various prisons.