The Director-General of Prisons, Mr. Isaac Kofi Egyir, was born in Accra on 21st August, 1964. He was enlisted into the Ghana Prisons Service on 5th December, 1995 as an officer cadet. Upon successful completion of the cadet course, he was commissioned as a Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (DSP) on 5th July, 1996. By dint of hard work and exceptional performance during the training, his efforts were crowned with two awards namely, the subject prize for Corrections Management and the much-coveted Best-All-Round Officer Cadet of the Intake 13 Course.
Mr. Isaac Egyir has over 28 years experience as a Prisons Officer, and has served in various capacities and held a number of command positions in the Service prior to his appointment as the Director-General of Prisons (DGP).
Notably, he was the Deputy Director-General of Prisons in charge of Operations, from January, 2021 up until his current appointment. He had earlier held the positions of Director of Prisons in charge of Operations and Welfare from June, 2020 to January, 2021; Director of Prisons in charge of Operations and Agriculture from January, 2019 to June, 2020; and the Eastern Regional Commander of Prisons and Officer-in-Charge of the Medium Security Prison, Nsawam. He was the Commanding Officer of Prisons Headquarters between May, 2015 and January, 2016; and the Chief Agriculture Officer of the Service from April, 2009 to April, 2012. Also, he headed two key agricultural stations; the defunct Fafraha Camp Prison, from December, 2004 to September, 2006; and the Duayaw-Nkwanta Settlement Camp Prison, from August, 2002 to December, 2004. In each of the above capacities, he left a trail of indelible achievements.
Patently, Mr. Egyir has contributed immensely to the general advancement of the Prisons Service, and particularly in the following endeavours. He played a key role in the initiation of a case-tracking system that presents tools for stakeholders within the criminal justice system to ease the validation and authentication of inmates’ identity, as well as generate reports on inmates based on their cases, penal records, prosecuting agency and the adjudicating courts. Through his arrangements with the 64 Infantry Brigade of the Ghana Armed Forces, ten officers of the SWAT Unit of the Service participated in counter-terrorism exercises at Asutsuare in 2019. Further to his credit is the expansion and upgrading of the Prisons Health Centre at Nsawam Medium Security Prison to a primary clinic with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) accreditation in 2018, as well as the development of standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for performance in the agriculture sector of the Service, also in 2018.
With his in-depth knowledge and expertise in corrections management, Mr. Isaac Egyir was seconded to the United Nations Mission in Sudan as UN Corrections Adviser from October, 2007 to April, 2009. Following his dedication and sterling performance, he was subsequently engaged at the P4 Managerial Level as Military Prisons Manager in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan from April, 2012 to May, 2015. His resourcefulness and professional prowess left distinct and remarkable imprints on the international stage. Among those achievements was the successful conduct of a joint assessment of all the eight divisions of Military Prisons in South Sudan to inform the necessary reforms needed in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) detention system in 2015. Mr. Egyir also negotiated with the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) for the inclusion of two female soldiers for the first time in UN training programmes in 2014. It is worthy of mention that he developed the first ever UN Mission Training Module on Military Prisons Management in South Sudan in 2013. Again, though not part of his main assigned job description, he provided technical support to the National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS), where his expertise in agriculture was brought to bear in the development of a project proposal for agriculture production. This culminated in the programme receiving support of Indian, Brazilian, South Africa South-South Cooperation to the tune of 1.8 million US dollars in 2012.
Considering Mr. Isaac Kofi Egyir’s professional expertise, acumen and past meritorious service to the nation, it came as no surprise when on 1st August, 2021, the mantle of leadership fell on him with his appointment as the Acting Director-General of Prisons by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The President subsequently confirmed him into the position on 18th October, 2021, thus becoming the 26th head of the Ghana Prisons Service.
On his academic pursuits, it is of interest to indicate that Mr. Isaac Egyir is a proud past student of St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast, where he obtained both G.C.E. Ordinary and Advanced Levels. He proceeded to the University of Ghana and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agriculture in 1990 and later a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Animal Science in 1994. Subsequently, he obtained a Master of Arts (MA) in Peace and Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast and Master of Science (MSc), Defence and International Politics from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC). He also holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Administration, from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), both Advanced Executive and Executive Certificates in Security Management, Forensic and Investigative Psychology from Wisconsin International University College, and a Certificate of Achievement in Monitoring and Evaluation also from GIMPA.
The Director-General of Prisons is an outstanding and principled gentleman, affable, and has a pleasant disposition. He is a Christian. He is happily married to Professor (Mrs.) Irene Egyir and they are blessed with three children. He enjoys reading, farming and football. He is an ardent supporter of Kumasi Asante Kotoko football club.