Amnesty International Ghana, a Human Rights focused Organization, has called on government to review the feeding grants upwards for prison inmates cater for their needs.
It expressed concern that the GHC1.80 daily allocation meant for each inmate was inadequate and could not provide decent meals for them. “It is against their fundamental human rights to feed them so poorly”, it added.
“Considering the economic situation of today, we have realized that the GHC1.80 is woefully inadequate and we are appealing to the state through Ministry of the Interior and the Ghana Prison Service to do something about it, we will have called for an increase from GHC1.80 to GHC5.00 on the average,” he said.
Mr Frank Kwaku Doyi, the Director of Amnesty International Ghana said this on the sidelines of its 2021 Annual General Assembly Meeting held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
It was on the theme, “Human rights protection and fulfillment, a tool for fighting poverty in Ghana.”
The Director said Amnesty International Ghana conducted a research in 2011 and presented a proposal to the government that led to the increase of the feeding grants of inmates to the current rate.
The Director called on government to take major steps to decongest the prisons and to make them conducive for living.
He said apart from the urgent need for government to build more improved accommodation to decongest the prisons and promote healthy living, there was the need to consider non-custodian sentences for people who have committed minor crimes.
“The other critically important thing we have been advocating for is the adoption of non-custodian sentences for petty offences so that they can be given community services and this would help decongest the prisons.”
Mr Doyi underscored the need for Ghana to honour its pledges to various international and national treaties and conventions including; the International Covenant for Economic and Social Right, and International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights which puts emphasis on protection for all including prison inmates.
“We are all at risk, anybody could find himself or herself in the prison at anytime and the fact that people have committed offences for which reason they should be punished, does not mean that we should not respect their dignity.
“Our own 1992 Constitution, Article 15, clause one states that the dignity of all persons shall be invaluable and one way of protecting prison inmates is to make sure that they are adequately fed, health issues addressed and their environment is conducive for human living and rehabilitation,” he added.