Open letter to the Ag. Director-General of Prisons

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Prisons Service

Dear Sir,

I am one of those who received with happiness your appointment to be the DG of the Prisons Service. It is still early days in your take over as the DG of the Prisons Service, so I would not bother you with a lengthy letter that will take too much of your time. First of all, on behalf of my colleague officers, my course 110 mates, and my humble self; I welcome you to the highest seat of this noble job.

A friend of mine, after reading your Agric and security-rich CV called me, and the first thing he said was, “Prisons Service you have the men wate!”. I proudly smiled and told him about the solid and competent human resource materials the service is blessed with.

St. Augustine College’s old boys on my Facebook timeline wouldn’t stop jubilating for seeing an ‘APSU’ climb up to become the No. 1 Reformer in the Prisons Service.

Sir, this should tell you not only the Prisons community are proud of your elevation but civilians are inclusive. Those who know your worth and those who can see a deliverable man from his rich CV are all happy and anticipate your tenure to be one of the best.

Sir, I am by this humble letter taking you through some of the areas I suggest will need your utmost attention.

POTS/ Training 

His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2018, at the Commissioning of Intake 25 at the Prison Officers’ Training School (POTS), could not hide his joy at the level of beautiful drill exhibited by graduating cadet officers. This appraisal of our drill from the President generated a lot of debate from other sister agencies and applause from civilians who know what proper drill is made of.

Sir, as you take up the mantle from your predecessor, who tirelessly did his best to transform the POTS in terms of infrastructure and key staffing, I do humbly suggest you look at retooling the prestigious training school, revising our curriculum, creating an Officers College and making our envious training school both on the Reformation Square and in the lecture halls a formidable force to contend in Africa. 

Thanks to the immediate past DG, Mr. Darko-Missah who made it possible to make our men and women go to Huhunyan to join other security agencies to train as combatants.

These men who had training from Huhunyan can also be made to train other officers internally as a way of enhancing capacity building.

Logistics

Sir, we know the government is doing its best for us but I sometimes get heartbroken about how our noble service is relegated when it comes to the allocation of logistics to aid the smooth operations of our work. Thanks to your predecessors who, with the little, they had tried to make a turnaround with it to improve our work conditions.

However, as Oliver Twist said, “Please, sir we want some more”. More of operational vehicles, buses, Command cars, more of restraints, more of utility vehicles, more of quality uniforms etcetera.

The 10-year strategic Development Plan of the service spanning from2015-2025 has the ‘Construction of a Prison Hospital” stated. Sir, please use your good office to help this dream see daylight so the health care of officers and their dependents together with inmates will be enhanced.

 

Public Image

The past months have seen the National PR unit moving from radio and TV to clear the air on falsehoods peddled by ex-convicts who want to ride on such to gain public empathy.  

Sir, we do work hand in hand with the public and so anything that dents our image goes a long way to affect our relationship with them.

In this age of technology, sir, I humbly suggest you look at our social media presence and the immense benefit the service can get from it.  I had so many messages and calls from media friends who wanted to read about you on our website but it was nonfunctional or better still have been under construction for months.

Regional PR Units should be made to make the service attractive to the public and win the war of image damaging by recidivists through the use of both traditional and new media.

Our social media handles can be used as educational tools to sensitize our operations, regulations, etc. The more we open up, the more the public gets closer to help us achieve our mission and vision.

 

Non-Salary Allowance

At this point, permit me to salute all your predecessors who made sure non-salary related allowances such as Tools. Maintenance, Rent among others was paid. A bigger appreciation to former DG, Mr. Patrick Darko-Missah who did away with payments of allowances on ‘table tops’ and initiated payments through the banks.

Sir, one other allowance which your able officers are looking up to you for results, is the Contagious Disease allowance stipulated in regulation 72 of the CI 92. Some of us believe in your action-oriented leadership and with the solid team of Directorates flanking you, I believe the 10 percent Contagious Disease allowance will be reviewed as stated in regulation 73 of the CI 92 and include not only Ankaful CDP but all prison facilities.

May God bless you, even as you commence processes.

Unflinching support

Sir, as I promised you from the beginning of my letter, I would not take much of your time so I will end here with assurance from my good self, and the entire staff of our all-day support to see you win!

May the Lord make you a beacon of hope and grant you divine favor that whatever you have planned to do for officers and the betterment of the service will come to pass.  We pledge to support you in all aspects to see your tenure become one of the best.

 

Sincerely,

L/Cpl Emmanuel Boateng Agyemfra

The writer is a Lance Corporal with the Ghana Prisons Service and can be contacted on [email protected]/0249542342

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