A total of 444 recruits of the Ghana Prisons Service on Friday passed out of the Prison Officers Training School (POTS) in Accra.
The Recruit Course 121, last of four recruit courses for the year, was made up of 245 males and 199 females who underwent nine months of classroom and field training in various aspects of prison security from January 15 to September 23 this year.
The Deputy Minister of the Interior, NaanaEyiah, entreated them to develop a cooperative attitude and be open to sound professional counselling and mentoring from their forerunners.
She beseeched them to respect the human rights of prisoners and avoid acts that tend to worsen the pain of being imprisoned
“You must abide by the rules and regulations that pertain to your official duties and direct your energies to self-improvement,” she added.
Mrs Eyiah explained that it was because the recruits were entering into full service at a time when the Prisons Service was confronted with many emerging challenges.
“The task of receiving and managing persons who have been imprisoned presents heavy challenges. The current average age of our convict population is about 25 years,” she stated.
“With this youthful nature of the average convict mind, the service provides opportunities for developing the skills and talents of inmates through formal education as well as technical and vocational training,” she added.
Mrs Eyiah said these efforts were aimed at offering the inmates better options for economic empowerment for possible self-rule and effective reintegration upon their discharge.
“It is unfortunate, though logical, that society views the ex-convict as an always dangerous element that must be avoided. Such common rejection worsens the already broken ego of the ex-convict and badly affects the process of reintegration,” she said.
“The clear effect will be high rates of reoffending, which is a danger to the safety of society,” she added.
The Deputy Minister for the Interior said the time had come for all to reconsider their thoughts of imprisonment, adding that “let us try to accept and support ex-convicts to resettle meaningfully”.
Recruit Officer Daniel Odurowas adjudged the Best in Physical Training; Recruit Officer Nurudeen Abdul Malik was adjudged Best in Drill; Recruit Officer Wajah Abdullah Humu was given the Commandant’s award while Recruit Officer Prince Mbri was adjudged the overall best recruit officer.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR