Ho Central Prison shuts gate to new prisoners

The Ho Central Prison has shut its gate, with a firm stance not to take in new prisoners in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. 

Admitting one convict who turns out to be carrying the virus can result in the death of convicts in epic proportions, due to the congestion at the prison, explained Andrews Dzokoto, Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) in-charge of the Volta Region.

He told the Ghanaian Times in an exclusive interview in Ho on Monday that there were now 467 inmates at the Ho Central Prison which was built for only 150 prisoners.

Among them, he said, were 81 remand and trial prisoners, some of whom had been behind bars for the past seven years, waiting for their cases to be heard in court.

DDP Dzokoto revealed that in the absence of space, the prisoners had no room to stretch out in the cells.

Inside the cells, he pointed out that the prisoners could not maintain a distance of one metre away from each other due to their large number.

For that matter, an outbreak of the virus in the prison would result in total disaster, said DPP Dzokoto.

“So, we hope the law courts will be slow with sentences in these trying times,” he added.

DPP Dzokoto stressed that the Ho Central Prison did not have the capacity to handle such a situation, “so, we will commit greater zeal and resources towards preventing COVID-19 from entering the prison.” 

He said that hand washing kits had been installed at vantage points in the prison for regular hand washing with soap and water, in addition to other precautionary measures, which were costing the prison a fortune.

DDP Dzokoto, therefore, appealed to the public, churches, NGOs and patriotic citizens to provide the prison with more Veronica buckets, liquid soap, sanitisers and paper towels to boost its efforts to prevent COVID-19 from entering the prison.


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