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Ghana Prison has failed its mandate; people go there, come out with Ph.Ds in crime – BT Baba

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A former Deputy Director of the Ghana Prison Service and Member of Parliament for the Talensi District in the Upper East Region, Benson Tongo Baba (BT Baba) has opined that the Ghana Prison Service has failed in its mandate to help correct and reform individuals who have run afoul of the law.

While admitting that the Service has failed, BT Baba explained that the Service cannot be blamed for the current state of affairs. He explained that the situation has been arrived at because of the lack of funding for the institution.

Speaking on the Day Break Upper East Show on A1 Radio, the MP explained that the disbursements made to the Ghana Prison Service does not allow them to properly operate.

“The Prison Service has failed in its mandate. It is not that we do not have the people to do that, it is all about cash. The Prison Service is cash-strapped. It looks like it has become a warehouse for keeping inmates without giving them the necessary training.”

‘The reformation goes with a lot of training. As I am speaking to you, a prisoner is fed on Ghc1.80 a day. You and I, we know what Ghc1.80 can do. The Prison Service used to have an efficient agric programme. When I was in Nsawam, we were producing a lot of maize.”

“In those days, when the Prison Service produces food, the price is reduced and the money is paid to the agricultural revolving fund so that it [the farming project] can continue,” he said.

BT Baba lamented about the overcrowded nature of the prisons dotted across the country.

“Go and have a look at the Navrongo Prison, somebody comes with a minor offence and leaves the prison with a Ph.D in crime. Because he would have learnt a lot of bad tricks from people. The regulation of the Prison Service is that you segregate them. First offenders cannot go and be with recidivists,” he said.

BT Baba called on the government to invest in the reformation of prisoners.

Earlier, BT Baba reasoned that the failure of President, Nana Akufo-Addo to reshuffle some of his ministers especially the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Food and Agriculture, is worrying.

He said putting one minister in an office for over 6 years does not only bring about inefficiency but also breeds corruption.

He said, “you know very well that man is not working yet you allow him to be there. Who does that? How can you put a person in one office for close to six years? Even various workplaces don’t do that.”

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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