Corrections Reforms Platform (COREP) a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), has been inaugurated by the Prisons Ladies
Association (PRILAS) at the Prison Officers’ Training School in Accra.
The national PRILAS president, Director of Prisons in charge of inmates’ rehabilitation and skills development (DOP) Mrs. Emma Dilly Sawyerr-Laryea, in her welcome address, stated that COREP was formed to serve as a mouthpiece for women in the Prison service as well as female prison inmates and bring to fore sensitive issues affecting female staff. She mentioned that COREP, which is a subsidiary of PRILAS has also been established with the aim of raising funds to undertake programmes and projects to improve the lives of women and other vulnerable groups in the prison system and society at large.
The national president added that, COREP will help re-integrate offenders into society through collaboration and co-operation with international and local Agencies.
The Director-General of Ghana Prisons Service, Madam Matilda Baffour-Awuah in her address said the Prison Service is poised to build an institution which will be seen as a first class correctional centre where prisoners incarcerated to serve prison terms will be provided with skills to transform their lives. Madam Baffour – Awuah stated that, ”COREP envisions a situation where committed, dedicated and competent retired prison officers will work with the NGO and the prison authorities to realize this laudable dream of transforming lives to alleviate some of the challenges and special needs of women prisoners in custody”. She paid special tribute to dedicated officers who worked tirelessly to see the realization of the dream of COREP.
The chairperson Mrs. Sheila Minkah-Premo, who is a lawyer and gender activist, in her remarks, envisaged the plight of incarcerated young women and its effects on their families. She said, “Even though there are both men and women in prison, the problems women face and the impact of their imprisonment differs so helping to reform them and seeing to their rehabilitation and reintegration into society is very important. “
On her part, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, the founder of the Salt and Light Ministries, who was the special guest of honour, commended the association for taking up the challenge of supporting females and said “mothers who are ex-inmates will become better in career building which will help them in contributing their quota to the development of society”.
At the end of the inauguration, a seven member committee was sworn in as trustees to COREP with its composition as follows;Mr. B.T Baba (chairman), DGP (rtd) Mr. Michael .K. Bansah, Madam Caroline Kumassey, Rev.Dr.Theresa Addai, Mrs Florence Yeboah, DDP Mrs. Patience Baffoe-Bone and DSP Augustina Ama Boadu. The event was witnessed by delegates from sister organizations such as the Police Ladies Association (POLAS), Fire Service Ladies Association (FISLA), and Immigration Ladies Club (IMMILAC).