The Church of Pentecost is building five settlement camp prisons for the Ghana Prisons Service to help decongest the country’s prisons.
The new facilities are located in Obuasi and Ejura in the Ashanti Region, Nsawam in the Eastern Region, Hawia in the Western Region, and Kenyasi in the Ahafo Region.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Prisons Service, Superintendent of Prisons Vitalis Aiyeh, made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday.
He said the projects would be for the confinement of reasonably trustworthy prisoners, who would be engaged on government and other official projects.
The Nsawam camp prison will accommodate 300 inmates.
The PRO said the prisons would have workshops for skills training in carpentry, masonry and other artisanal vocations.
The skills training is to equip the inmates with vocational qualities so that when they come out of the prisons they can set up their own businesses rather than becoming a burden on society.
Supt Aiyeh commended the Church of Pentecost for the support it was providing, and expressed the hope that it would go a long way to bring relief to the inmates and prison officers.
He urged other institutions to emulate the example of the church and partner the service to do more for inmates.
Overcrowding, Supt Aiyeh said, had been a major problem in Ghana’s prisons.
The 46 prison establishments countrywide, which were built to hold about 9,000 inmates, currently have about 16,000 prisoners.
The development, the PRO said, was overstretching the available facilities at the moment.
It had also led to the spread of communicable diseases and poor sanitation, among other challenges.
Supt Aiyeh said the Justice for all Programme, which was introduced in 2007, was one of the initiatives that had prevented population explosion in the prisons.
Since it started, the programme had benefited 4,432 persons who would have been languishing in the prisons.
Supt Aiyeh also indicated that the various prison health posts in the country had seen a major facelift and upgraded to hospitals where doctors and nurses were providing improved services to inmates.