The Ho Regional Commander of Prison, Deputy Director of Prison (DPP) Mr Andrews Dzokoto, is calling for an upward review of the feeding rates for adult prisoners because the GHc1.80 feeding rate is “woefully inadequate.” He said this, which means provision of non-nutritious meals, together with the “already harsh” conditions at the cells had reduced the resistance of the inmates leaving them prone to diseases. The DPP made this appeal to the government when the Chief Justice Sophia Akufo led a team of female Ambassadors and High Commissioners to monitor the Justice for All sitting program at the prisons.
“The Justice For All program has help tremendously in decongesting the prisons especially with the remand prisoners and today’s (Friday) program is just one such examples because we have had several of them and they together have contributed in reducing congestion at the prisons and then given justice to those who under normal circumstances wouldn’t have had the opportunity,” he noted.
In his appeal to the President he said, “We want to appeal to our President to look into the issue of the feeding rate of prisoners which is GHc1.80p for a prisoner per day for three meals for an adult prisoner. He added: “You will all agree with me that it is woefully inadequate so we appeal for upward review because in the prisons, the conditions are already harsh so without healthy feeding, without nutritious food the resistance of the inmate is reduced and they are prone to disease infections. He expressed worry that monies “which we are supposed to use to feed them is used to buy medications, travel to hospitals, spend on fuel and all that.
While acknowledging the assistance of the government to the prisons, he appealed for operational and command vehicles to aid the movement of prison officials. “Ho here, we don’t have operational vehicle that will take inmates to the court and also to hospitals and other areas where we have to carry out some activities, so we appeal for operational vehicles and also a command vehicle to use when some of our colleague commanders are going for a program.”
The Justice For All Program was introduced in 2007 as part of the justice delivery process to rid the prisons of overcrowding. Although statistics are not readily available, it has been reported that the program has resulted in the reduction of remand prisoners from 33 per cent in 2007 to 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.