The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has organized a four-day ‘Training of Trainers’ workshop for some selected officers of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS). It is part of a three-year structured support scheme aimed at strengthening the compliance of the Ghana Prisons with the Nelson Mandela Rules.

The training was sponsored by the United States Embassy in Ghana, and took place last week at the Airport View Hotel in Accra. Participants were taken through the Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of Prisoners also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules, and the Bangkok rules. This forms part of efforts to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of prisoners as well as enhance the capacity of officers in line with international best practices and standards.
The training forms part of a three-year project which focuses on three main areas namely: prisoner classification, rehabilitation of inmates and improving prison conditions.

The Director of Prisons in charge of Agriculture, Mr. Hanson Adu-Awuku noted that, the Service’ vision to conform to International standards and best practices in corrections management places an urgent demand on the Service to work towards the adoption of modern norms in correctional administration.
Mr. Adu-Awuku therefore urged participants to put into action the knowledge acquired to train other officers and cause a positive change in the prisons.

The Commandant of the Prisons Officers’ Training School (POTS), DDP. Gilbert Brandford Hama, thanked officials of UNODC for their immense support over the years. “UNODC has undertaken projects such as a visit to about twenty four prison stations to identify specific needs for support, the donation of 500 mattresses to the Services for prisoners use, on-going refurbishment of the CB Moses Library at POTS to convert it into an e-Learning Centre an development of an enhanced classification tool for the Service among others”, he said.

A Coordinator of UNODC, Mr. Andrѐs Bascones thanked the Director-General of Prisons and the Prisons Administration for their collaboration. He entreated participants to practice and impart whatever they have learnt to other officers in order to effect change in the prisons, and make life better for the inmates.

Also present were Mr. Christoph Capelle (Associate Expert in Crime Prevention Justice, UNODC), Mr. Isaac Tabi Tacho (Swedish Prisons and Probation Service), Madam Sharon Critoph (UK Freelance Human Rights Consultant), ADP. Augustina Mensah-Fiadzo (Officer in charge of the Gender Unit, GPS) and DSP. Stephen Okai Aboagye ( Coordinator, UNODC Training Programmes).

Report by: DSP. Irene Pieteson Arthur
Photos by: L/CPL. Justice Selorm Gadri

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