THE United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UN ODC) in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America yesterday donated 500 mattresses to Ghana Prisons

This was part of the three-year project between UNODC and GPS in strengthening the compli- ance of the Ghana Prisons Service with the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Service (GPS) to improve the sleeping conditions of prisoners in the country.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Interior, Mrs Adelaide Anno-Kumi, stated that, the service was respon-

“The way forward was to estab lish potentially variable partner- ships with progressive international development agencies, civil society organisations, first aid groups and philanthropic individuals,” she advised.

Mrs Anno-Kumi said the three- year partnership with UNODC focused on three main areas in the prison system, which includes, per- sonal classification, rehabilitation of inmates and improving basic conditions in prisons.

go a long way to improve prison conditions in the country.

She said the 500 mattresses will be distributed to these four prisons station; Kumasi Central Prison, Sunyani Central Prisons, Ankaful Maximum Security Prisons and Nsawam Medium Security Prisons. served.

“It is expected that more stations will soon benefit from the supply of mattresses under this project to benefit the service to improve the sleeping conditions of inmates,” he said.

Mrs Anno-Kumi commended UNODC and the sponsoring agen- cies for their gesture that would

⚫ Mr Andres Bascones Peres-Fragero (left) presenting the mattresses to Mr Isaac Kofi Egyir (right). With them is Mr Christopher J. Gunning. Political Chief, US Embassy Photo: Michael Ayeh

The Nelson Mandela Rules are the United Nations standard min- imum rules for the treatment of prisoners across the world.

sible for the safety and welfare of inmates and their reformation and rehabilitation but GPS was facing some challenges that prevented them from meeting these respon- sibilities.

The Project Coordinator for UNODC, Mr Andres Bas- cones-Fragezo, on his part said, safe and secure prisons in line with human rights can only be achieved with a joint effort from stakehold- ers and individuals who played their roles towards it.

He called for collaboration with government, stakeholders and er organisations to help to improve the living conditions of prisoners in the country.

“This project will remain closed in the bucket forever without the help from all necessary stakehold- ers,” he said.

Mr Bascones-Fragero ended his speech by thanking the US Embas sy for their support and advised that they keep up the collaboration to improve the prison system while ensuring that human rights were

The Director-General of Prisons, Mr Isaac Kofi Egyir, who received the mattresses on behalf of GPS expressed his profound gratitude to UNODC and the Embassy of the USA for their kind gesture and promised the mattress- es would be used for what they were gifted for.

Ghanaian times
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