President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to the public to avoid stigmatising prisoners and ex-convicts.
He said despite efforts to refine inmates in prisons to better integrate them into societies after serving their sentences, “the society is reluctant to accept ex-convicts back into their folds.”
The President said as much as personnel of the Ghana Prisons Service owed it a duty to work to ensure prisoners return well-reformed and rehabilitated, societies had the responsibility to welcome prisoners into their fold and give them the needed support.
President Akufo-Addo made the appeal at the graduation of 198 career officers from recognised tertiary institutions into the Senior Corps of the Ghana Prisons Service.
The Officer Cadet Corps intake 29 was held at the forecourt of Ghana Prisons Service Training School in Accra yesterday.
The 127 male and 71 female officers have gone through stringent entry requirements and intensive training at the school.
Congratulating the new officers, President Akufo-Addo was optimistic that the Service had adequately prepared them to assume the responsibilities ahead of them.
He commended the commanders of the service for working under pressure to churn out well-trained officers to refine the manpower needs of the service, despite the limited resources.
President Akufo-Addo said his administration had enhanced the human resource capacity of the service with the recruitment of over 3,000 recruits and enlistment of several officer cadets over the past years.
The President expressed the government’s readiness to develop the capacity of the Prisons Service and thanked the generals and staff of the service for making Ghana’s prisons one of the best managed in Africa.
He said government would work to decongest the prisons and improve their conditions, and pledged to improve the living conditions of the prison staff
The overall best officer cadet award was presented to Homey Matthew Amegbor, best in Academics award was presented to Paul Acheampong, Philip Opoku Prempeh received the Commander’s award.
Similarly, Sarah Ankamah-Yeboah was also presented with the best in drill and Collins Owusu Nyarko received the best in physical fitness exercise.
In attendance were the Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, heads of security agencies, Members of Parliament, directors of the Prisons service, past directors generals of the service, members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers and the clergy among others.
The officers were trained in legal and policy foundation, penal, human rights and administrative laws, public sector financial management, prisons and prisoner management, correction management and computation among others.
Senior Chief Officer,Albert Henry Lutterodt,who died on June 18, 2022 saving some victims of flood on the Cape Coast Elmina Highway was promoted posthumouslyto Assistant Superintendent of Prisons.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI AND YAW KYEI
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