Prison Outreach & Anti-Recidivism Program
Prison Outreach & Anti-Recidivism Program
Male prisons are often neglected, set to feed on 1.80p a day, crowded and receive poor health care because males are the most incacerated and also expected to survive these harsh conditions. On this project, volunteers tackle this gender based violence inflicted on prisoners by visiting prisons in Ghana to give them food, offer mental health services and engage them in Anti-Recidivism programs to prevent repeat offenses.
- Travelling to prisons around the country
- Counseling and therapy for inmates
- Assisting the medical staff to offer medical services to inmates.
- Teaching assistance to teaching staff of the prisons
- Religious volunteers will offer their teaching and fellowship services to inmates.
- Mental health training and workshops for prison officials.
Including Accra, there are many prisons clustered across the regions of Ghana. Travelling to any of the 47 prisons in Ghana could be required in this project.
Accra is the capital of Ghana, on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. Accra is the most densely populated city in Ghana. The central business district of Accra contains the city’s main banks and department stores, as well as an area known as the Ministries, where Ghana’s government administration is concentrated. Economic activities in Accra include the financial and commercial sectors, fishing using the best spinning reel for striper fishing and the manufacture of processed food, lumber, plywood, textiles, clothing and chemicals.
Tourism is becoming a thriving source of business for those in arts and crafts, historical sites and local travel and tour agents. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park honors Ghana’s first president, who helped lead the country to independence. The park contains Nkrumah’s mausoleum and a museum charting his life. Makola Market is the city’s vast, colorful bazaar. Popular seafront spots Labadi Beach and Kokrobite Beach offer golden sand and high-energy nightlife.
ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP:
After you have booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at Kotoka International Airport in Accra. A member of staff from VOIICE will meet you on arrival at Airport and take you to the volunteer guest house or host family which will be your base for volunteering. This airport services numerous international carriers. Ghana has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.
Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. Generally, your volunteer orientation is an overview of the project’s mission, expectations and introduction to the local community and project site. Following your arrival in Ghana you will be given a presentation by the co-coordinating project team to prepare you for the work you will be doing.
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.
You are also free to cater for your own recreational experience in the capital on the weekends.
GROUP VOLUNTEER TRIPS:
Get some friends together or organize a group from your school and embark on this incredible experience! Discounts are offered on any group of 5+ participants on any VOIICE Volunteer program.
LONGTERM VOLUNTEER WORK:
Please contact us for more information about our long-term volunteer work . We will guide you on the best times of the year, what to pack, and what extra health precautions to keep in mind and all logistics.
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house if they come in groups, otherwise assigned a host family that allows room to experience the raw and pleasant reality of living in a Ghanaian home. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday – Sunday. The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms if in groups, otherwise a room is assigned to you by host families. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed.
The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 – 30 minutes from the accommodation. At some point volunteers might be on the move and hence we suggest also bringing a sleeping mat and sleeping bag/pillow for travel and weekends away on adventures. Bathrooms are usually shared in volunteer houses or host families. There is a lounge,living room or studio area for relaxing, reading, or watching movies.
However, volunteers may choose to get some extra accomodation services like booking affordable guest houses, hostels or even Airbnb if requested by volunteers. More info here
Our program is for anyone eighteen years and above who loves service above self and social experiences with people from all over the world. We also accepts volunteers of 16+ years of age if they are in a group with a guardian or supervisor above 25years. Volunteers under 16 years old are only considered when accompanied by a parent/guardian. There isn’t a maximum age limit, though a reasonable fitness level is necessary. Families are encouraged to apply and are welcome!
Visitors to Ghana must obtain a visa from one of the Ghanaian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the countries or territories that are either visa exempt or whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival. If special requirements are satisfied, the citizens of countries without diplomatic or consular mission of Ghana travelling on short notice may obtain a visa on arrival. Visa is granted on arrival for holders of a copy of a pre-arranged approval from immigration.
You’ll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won’t be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you’re covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return.
WEEKENDS AND FREE-TIME:
Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Ghana has to offer. We arrange city day tours and long-weekend safaris. No matter what your interests, there is always something for everyone to enjoy!