698 remand prisoners discharged

Justice Honyenugah addressing the media.

Justice Honyenugah addressing the media.

A total of 698 remand prisoners in the country have been discharged since the inception of the Justice For All Programme (JFAP) in 2007.

Out of the 3,468 cases filed, 1,091 remand prisoners have been granted bail and 138 have been convicted.

This was revealed by the Court of Appeal Judge, who has been leading the JFAP, Justice Clemence Honyenugah, when he addressed the media in Akuse Prisons on Friday, on the success of the programme, which is in its tenth year.

He said since its inception, the programme has helped reduce prison congestion drastically and commended the Ghana Police Service  and the Ghana Prisons Services (for their contribution to the success of the programme.

Justice Honyenugah indicated that judges of the programme worked diligently and considered the merits of the cases, which were brought before them.

The JFAP seeks to reduce prison overcrowding by setting up special courts to adjudicate remand prisoner cases with the joint effort of the Judicial Service, Office of the Attorney-General,   Ghana Police Service and Ghana Prisons Service as well as civil society.

Article 14(4) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana indicates that a person who is arrested or detained,  but has not received a trial within a ‘reasonable period of time’, is entitled to unconditional release or release subject to conditions necessary for reappearance for judicial process.

The 2007 Prisons Service Annual Report stated that 13,335 prisoners were held in prisons designed to hold approximately one-third of the number.

The JFAP programme is funded by DANIDA through the Judicial Service and facilitated by POS foundation.

Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

 

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