Inmates reformation camp commissioned at Nsawam Prisons

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President Akufo Addo Commissions Nsawam Prison
President Akufo Addo Commissions Nsawam Prison

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Saturday commissioned the Nsawam Skills Acquisition, Vocational and Reformation Camp at the Nsawam Prisons in the Eastern Region.

The edifice comprises fully furnished 320-capacity dormitory blocks for the inmates, a skills training centre in carpentry, tailoring, a state-of-the- art ICT Lab, Administration block, and a Chapel that would also serve as classroom.

Included in the facility is a Kitchen, a dining hall, laundry, inmates’ washrooms, seven sentry posts, two mechanized boreholes, offices, an infirmary, a visitors’ lounge, a shop, CCTV Installations, and other ancillary and recreational facilities.

Constructed by the Church of Pentecost, in furtherance of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) detailing the respective roles of the Ghana Prisons Service and The Church of Pentecost, the facility is the second to be commissioned, after the maiden one at Ejura was handed over to the Ghana Prisons Service a year ago.

At the ceremony, part of his three-day tour of the Estern Region that began last friday, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that “this is an example of the collaboration between the Church of Pentecost and the government.

“We saw it during the height of the COVID crisis, when the church made available its facilities in the Gomoa Fetteh area, and also organized food for the needy at the time. It shows the commitment of this church towards contributing to resolving the socio-economic problems of our nation. All Ghanaians should therefore join me in saying a big ‘ayekoo’ to them.”

The President said the church of Pentecost, by the act, had demonstrated exceptional leadership in its desire to maintain and grow a partnership with the state to address the problems of the country.

“I can say with confidence that this ceremony is the highlight of my 3-day working visit to the region. I say so because we’re witnessing today, a very important example of the collaboration that we seek in this country, between the government and several stakeholders in our nation, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and independent institutions in our nation.”

“Apostle, (Apostle Eric Nyamekye, Chairman of the Church of pentecost) your leadership of the church has already been commended by the General secretary, I want to add my voice to that commendation, about the sterling work that you’re doing in the name of Christ and the Christian community in our country, it’s exceptional and we must recognise it,” he stated.

The Camp is the second of such facilities that are being constructed by the Church of Pentecost. The church has indicated that three others were in the offing, two of which are expected to be commissioned by the end of the year.
Apostle Nyamekye said the Ejura Prison camp project constructed last year was already yielding some dividends.
He said that the vision of the Church “is hinged on a three-pronged approach, one of which is partnering with the Government for the socio- economic development of the nation.

“As a church, we believe that we have not only been called to worship God but to also serve God’s purpose within the society. It is from such a conviction that we are gathered here to commission this prison camp project,” he added.
Currently, 36 inmates are being trained in different trades including tailoring, kente weaving, leatherworks, carpentry, and metalworks. A good number of the inmates have already been trained at the workshop and have since been discharged.

Apostle Nyamekye noted that prison overcrowding was a key contributory factor to poor prison conditions around the world, and was also arguably the biggest single problem facing prison systems.

“Such overcrowding and associated challenges prevent prisons from fulfilling their proper functions,” he noted.
Apostle Nyamekye indicated that the Ghana Prisons Service was experiencing acute overcrowding in its holding facilities across the country. “Available statistics at the time of crafting our vision 2023 strategic document in 2018, indicated an overcrowding rate of 50.43% (i.e., 50.43% beyond the normal capacity).”

“As of last Thursday, October 20, 2022, there were a total of 14,957 inmates in our prisons, as against the maximum capacity of 9,850. Using the Nsawam medium security prisons as a case in point, Mr. President, this holding facility was built to hold a total of 850 prisoners, but currently, the facility is holding 3,187 prisoners. This represents over 275% above the required capacity,” he stated.

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