The Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Command of the Ghana Prisons Service has appealed to non- governmental organisations, corporate bodies and philanthropists to support its youth sensitization outreach programme for crime prevention.
Deputy Superintendent of Prison (DSP) Johann Nii Narh Nartey, the Public Relations Officer for the Command made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday in Sunyani.
He bemoaned the rising level of the youth’s involvement in crime, saying it “is very disturbing” and therefore needed urgent attention for public support to control the trend.
DSP Nartey cited juvenile inmates at the Sunyani Central Prison as at 2020 was six, but had increased to 10 in October this year, though the year had not ended.
The majority of the inmates at the Prison fell within the 18 to 25 age bracket and the offences they normally committed were stealing, armed-robbery and defilement, he lamented.
DSP Nartey added inmates jailed because of narcotics offences previously topped the list of offences, but that tendency had considerably decreased, making armed-robbery cases the highest with 100 inmates and defilement 98 as at October 20 this year.
He said the situation called for the need to create public awareness on criminal issues with more emphasis at the Junior/Senior High Schools (J/SHSs) because some of the pupils and students were sometimes unsuspected victims or perpetrators of such offences
DSP Nartey stated they began embarking on the sensitization programme in April this year and had reached out to 40 J/SHSs and also visited a number churches within the Sunyani and Sunyani West Municipalities, to educate the youth on crime-related issues and their associated consequences.
He stated that transportation to the schools and other destinations “is a challenge which is drawing back progress being made because there are no sponsors for the initiative”.
DSP Nartey therefore reiterated the appeal for donors to come to their aid to salvage the youth from illegalities and also help to reduce congestion at the prison, as well as promote quality health and safety of the inmates.