There are 47 prison establishments in Ghana including 2 major male prisons and 7 major female prisons. Ghana’s prisons house more than 14,000 inmates with approximately 2% of the prison population female.
However, Ghana’s prisons are faced with numerous challenges. Evident since 1972, the service is unable to ensure that convicts do not re offend. In the face of this, the prison service is faced with prison overcrowding, lack of sanitation, poor food and prison infrastructure. Some of the prisons are extremely outdated.
In 2013, the UN called the poor food and overcrowding situation in Ghana Prisons as “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”. A correctional system known to have been practiced of 2013 by prison authorities was the whipping of misbehaving prisoners known as the “black coats” by other inmates with canes.
There is also high stigmatization and marginalization of prisoners. According to one prison official, his solicitation of support from one organization got the response, ” I would rather feed vultures than support prisoners” This unfortunately is a recurring narrative in the minds of the populace that contributes to recidivism and high crime rate rendering futile the reformation and rehabilitation of Ghana prisons.
This marginalization is what inspires the Voice Of Inspiring Inclusive Change Equitably (VOIICE) Community to engage the work of the VOIICE Foundation to coming up with effective measures to curb this situation all year round.
A primary intervention that will bring together mental health professionals from within and outside the country with specialty in recidivism to support in the reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners.
The process will also involve the engagement of prison officials since they are the first point of contact of prisoners. Workshops and training will be organized for them to equipped to reduce recidivism, be conscious of the mental health of prisoners and theirs as well.
This intervention will also involve the donation of already prepared meals for prisoners as specifically widely proposed by inmates themselves.
Our intervention cannot be rendered complete without giving voice to prisoners, a dire intervention to changing the narrative people have about prisoners.
An all-year round travel to and from prisons to and from prisons, hosting volunteers, food donations and implementing these interventions may seem like good ideas that only you can help bring to life. Please donate to support this course and share with others as well.
Use of Funds
1. Preparing and donating hot meals to prison inmates in prisons around the country.
2. Hosting and facilitating activities of the mental health professionals from around the world and other volunteers.
3. Logistics for Training Workshops of Prison Officials.
4. Travel costs to prisons around Ghana.
5. Support in medication costs of mental health treatments