Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has lauded the management of the Ghana Prisons Service for ensuring the safety of prison inmates to prevent any infection among inmates since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in Ghana last year.
He said since the COVID-19 mass vaccination exercise started on March 2, this year, 2,161 prison officers and 1,136 inmates with underlying health conditions had received jabs of the AstraZenecca vaccines, and pledged government’s commitment to respond to their health needs and safety.
In that vein, he said, the infirmary of Nsawam Medium Security Prison had been elevated to a district hospital, while plans were advanced to upgrade the Ankaful Maximum Security Prison, Kumasi Central and Koforidua Prisons infirmaries into clinics.
Vice President Bawumia made this known at the passing-out parade of Officer Cadet Course Intake 28 of the Prison Officers Training School, in Accra, on Friday.
Dr Bawumia, who was the Reviewing Officer for the parade, commended the graduands for exhibiting high alertness and excellent marching skills.
The Vice President subsequently commissioned the 198 officers into the Senior Cadet Corps of the Ghana Prisons Service.
The Officers Cadet Course Intake 28 started on January 17, this year after rigorous recruitment regime.
There were a total of 198 graduands, comprising 129 males and 69 females, who were serving officers with professional and academic backgrounds including; Accounting, Social Science, Engineering, Education and Health.
They were taken through a rigorous physical training regime and drill during the four months period.
They studied courses such as Social Psychology, Correctional Management, Penal Law, Staff Function, Emergency and Serious Incidents Management.
Dr Bawumia was of the conviction that the graduands had worked hard and showed self-discipline and mental fortitude throughout the training and would serve the nation to the best of their abilities.
Also, they had been adequately equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills and would perform their duties excellently, without comprising their professional and work ethics, he added.
Vice President Bawumia lauded the leadership of the Director-General of Prisons, Mr Patrick Darko Missah and the first ever female Commandant of the Prison Officers Training School, Mrs Joana Fofo Tackie-Otoo, for their professionalism and innovation.
He believed the training offered the new senior officers would enhance the quality of the country’s penal system and administration of justice, as well as improve the safety environment of inmates for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
He assured of government’s commitment to enhancing the capacity of the human resource of Prison Service and improve the residential accommodation of officers.
The Vice President urged the Prison Administration to treat inmates with care, respect and decency in accordance with international best practices.
On efforts to improve the human resource and logistical needs of the Prison Service, Dr Bawumia said, over the past four years, 2,950 recruits and 300 cadets were enlightened into the Service to improve its human resource base, while 10 brand new Nissan Pick-Ups were donated by government to augment their fleet of vehicles.
He lauded the Pentecost Church for sponsoring the construction of five prison camps and urged other organizations to emulate the shining example of the Church.
Senior Under Officer Samuel Yankey emerged the Overall Best Officer Cadet and took home the Sword of Honour Award, while Junior Under Officer Koranteng Ivy Asantewa won the Academic Cane Award and Junior Under Officer Appiah Siaw took home the Commandant Award.