Grant Amnesty to prisoners, NGO implores President

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Accra, Nov. 6, GNA – Management of Crime Check Foundation (CCF), a Prison NGO, has appealed on President Nana Akufo Addo to exercise his prerogative of mercy in the granting amnesty to prisoners waiting to be pardoned to decongest the prisons.

Mr Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, Executive Director of CCF, said since coming into office, the President is yet to grant amnesty to prisoners.

He said much as the granting of Amnesty is a prerogative exercised by the President and the President alone, “we believe that the current state of our prisons calls for an amnesty.”

Mr Oppong Kwarteng was speaking on Tuesday at a news conference on the developments within Ghana’s prisons system, which demand urgent attention from government and other stakeholders in the criminal justice system in Accra.

He called on the President to use his prerogative of mercy to exercise a moral obligation that would lead to the decongestion of the country’s prisons and save inmates due for pardon, the pain they continue to harbour after years of waiting to be considered for pardon.

He said as development agents, the Foundation believes the media has a critical role to play in ensuring that these observations, some of which border on human rights infractions, were brought to the attention of government.

He said the country’s 42 prisons lack the requisite gadgets to effectively detect contrabands finding its way into the prisons and the result was that it paves way for miscreants to smuggle all manner of illegal substances into the prisons.

He said such a situation defeats the reformation and rehabilitation agenda of the prisons and makes the prisons a breeding ground for miscreants.

“It also produces on our streets hardened ex-convicts, who eventually come out to join criminal groups to inflict more mayhem on the public.” he added.

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