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NewsOti Regional Minister-designate recommends plans for prison reforms

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Oti Regional Minister-designate recommends plans for prison reforms

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Oti Regional Minister-designate, Daniel Machator has outlined comprehensive plans to revolutionize prisons within the Oti Region.

Advocating for a collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, Machator aims to change prisons into genuine centers of rehabilitation, emphasizing the need to address the inadequate conditions hindering the reformation of inmates.

Expressing concern over what he perceives as “human warehousing” rather than effective imprisonment, Machator pointed out the challenging circumstances that thwart inmates’ chances of meaningful rehabilitation.

He stressed the importance of altering the prevailing conditions that, he believes, contribute to the perception that society is against those incarcerated.

“I think we are rather practicing human warehousing than imprisonment which is supposed to help them reform because at the end of the day, the condition the person finds themselves in within the prison makes the person think society is against them,” Machator stated.

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Highlighting a concerning aspect of the current system, Machator disclosed that the daily food budget for each inmate in Ghanaian prisons amounts to a mere GH₵1.80.

“This translates into 60 pesewas breakfast, 60 pesewas lunch and 60 pesewas supper. So you should know that every prison administrator in Ghana is a magician. From 2011 to 2024, an inmate is fed GH₵1.80 pesewas in a day. The GH₵1.80 pesewas should be looked at immediately,” he said.

He called for urgent scrutiny of this budget, emphasising the need for immediate attention to this critical issue that has persisted from 2011 to 2024.

In a bid to address overcrowding within prisons, Machator revealed plans to prioritise the construction of smaller, district-based prisons.

“We should prioritise building smaller prisons in the district, even if it’s a 100-capacity prison so we are not going to overburden other prison facilities.”

He proposed the creation of facilities with a capacity of around 100 inmates, aiming to alleviate the burden on existing prison facilities.

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Machator underscored the significance of implementing reformative and rehabilitative procedures, asserting that providing inmates with the opportunity to learn valuable skills is essential.

Whether through vocational training or psycho-social programs led by religious leaders, he emphasised the need for a holistic approach to ensure individuals leave prison with the ability to lead law-abiding lives.

“If it’s a job the person is supposed to learn, the person will learn. If it’s a pastor or Imam taking him through psycho-social training to ensure that the person leaves a law-abiding life after imprisonment, the person will curtail to that. The person will listen to that.”

“So I will engage the Ministry of Interior and other governmental sectors that have something to do with the Ghana Prisons Service to ensure that whatever investment we need to do in the prison service, we do that.”

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Concluding his statements, Machator pledged to engage with the Ministry of Interior and other relevant governmental sectors involved with the Ghana Prisons Service.

His goal is to secure necessary investments and support to bring about substantial improvements within the prison service, aligning with his vision for a more effective and humane correctional system.

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