Speed Up the passage of Community Service Sentencing Bill – Gov’t urged

Chief Insp. Okyere
Chief Insp. Okyere

Chief Inspector Mark Okyere, the Station Officer at the Drobo Police Station in the Jaman South Municipality of the Bono Region has asked the government to facilitate the passage of the Community Service Sentencing Bill.

He, however, appealed to the public to hand over suspected criminals to the Police, saying the Police would fish out people who mete out instant justice on suspects and prosecute them accordingly.

The passage of the Bill, Chief Inspt. Okyere emphasised, it remained necessary not only to decongest the country’s overcrowding prisons, but also promote environmental cleanliness and enhance national food security too.

This is because convicts of minor offences such as stealing and petty theft, misdemeanors and traffic offences could be used to do commercial farm work, afforestation and clean up exercises, he explained.

Chief Insp. Okyere made the call at a community sensitization forum on the Bill, as part of the implementation of the Ghana Case Tracking System (CTS) held at Adamsu, a farming community in the municipality.

It was organised by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and facilitated by MIHOSO International, non-governmental organisations.

CTS is an integrated software that tracks criminal cases in the justice delivery system from its inception until their disposition.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Justice Sector Activity (JSA), the government launched the CTS in 2018 to provide information about criminal cases at every stage in the justice delivery system.

Chief Insp. Okyere emphasised cases such as murder, rape, robbery, attempted murder, and defilement were all exemptions in the Bill, regretting that many suspects convicted for minor offences become hardened after serving their sentences.

Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Progammes Director of the MIHOSO appealed for everybody to join the advocacy and impressed on the government for the passage of the bill, saying countries which had passed the bill had benefited from the law.

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