ASP Richard Bukari, the Ashanti Regional Public Relations officer (PRO) for the Ghana Prisons Service, has described conditions and feeding rations at the Kumasi main prisons as appalling, insisting the inmates were still living by the grace of God.
According to him, the daily stipend of 1.80pesewas per inmate was totally inadequate for them to get healthy or nutritious food,
ASP Bukari, who gave the hint in an interview with Oheneba Asiedu, host of the “Omanba pa show” on Silver Fm in Kumasi, bemoaned the conditions prevailing at the main central prison, where authorities were still struggling to meet the health challenges of the inmates.
He noted that the authorities, apart from the health and feeding challenges, were also battling with the unending issues of congestion, as the over 1,600 inmates had been piled up in cells like sardines or slaves.
Stressing on the huge numbers at the main central prison, the PRO said, instead of the 450 inmates the facility had been built to take, the prison authorities, however, have no choice but to cope with the current 1,600 population.
He mentioned the frequent outbreak of communicable diseases at the cells, adding that many have contracted diseases which hitherto to their incarceration were known to have.
Mr. Bukari noted the division in the cells where remand prisoners were separated from condemned ones,
He explained that, only hardened criminals and those serving terms close to or more than 10 years were serving their time at the Kumasi central prisons. The service has five others in the Ashanti Region where those serving low sentences were kept.
Reacting to allegations by an inmate who spoke on condition of anonymity in Kumasi, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) denied that the prisons authorities had levied each inmate GHc100 to repair some broken items at the prison.
According to ASP Bukari, the prison authorities are fully aware of the difficult conditions the inmates were facing and will not compound their sorry state by levying them.
He indicated that the Prisons Service was more focused in helping the inmates to reform and also learn a trade or write their Senior High School (SHS) Exams, while serving their term other than any other thing.
He, however, conceded that congestion, poor meals, as well as the general conditions, at the prisons were poor for human habitation.
He, therefore, appealed to government, as well as the public and corporate institutions, to come their aid and help them resolve teething problems and pay for the registration fees of some of the inmates who are billed write BECE and SHS exams
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Nsiah Yeboah, Kumasi