President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked officers of the Ghana Prisons Service to respect the rights of prisoners committed to prison custody under their care.
That, he said would ensure the standards of Prisons Service were upheld in line with the laws of the land.
President Akufo-Addo said this at the Cadet Course Intake 31 graduation parade in Accra yesterday, in which 448 officers made up of 272 men representing 60.7 per cent and 176 women representing 39.3 per cent passed out.
The programme was graced by dignitaries including the Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey and Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, Lydia Alhassan.
The others are the management of the Prisons Service, heads of security agencies, clergy, traditional leaders, senior security officers, family and friends among others.
He said the Ghana Prisons Service played a vital role in the criminal justice system and the security architecture of the country.
President Akufo-Addo said, over the years, the Prisons Service had lived up to expectation in playing multiple roles including discharging of custodian responsibility, executing rehabilitation and re-integration programmes for prison inmates, ensuring the protection of human rights and dignity of prisoners, collaborating with the justice system in Ghana, as well as working with other state security agencies to ensure public safety.
He reminded the personnel to be practical and innovative in the discharge of their functions as senior officers, adding that they should act with integrity and compassion in every situation.
President Akufo-Addo said over the years, government has made significant efforts in improving the manpower needs of the service which has resulted in the enlistment of more officers from various professional backgrounds to enable the Service effectively execute its mandate.
He assured of government’s commitment to improving the working conditions of officers of the Service which were key to the effective delivery of their function.
The President stated that the key stakeholders of the Prisons Service were the inmates, adding that government had put in place pragmatic interventions such as healthcare, food security, skills training among others to improve their conditions.
President Akufo-Addo said it had gotten to a time when the county’s paradigm shift must lead to the building of a strong independent state institutions that did not only deliver their mandate, but were ready to deliver its capacity to work in generating income internally.
The Officer Cadet training was aimed at providing the requisite intellectual, physical and regimental preparation and mental resilience to officer cadets to enable them take up leadership positions and exercise effective command in the Ghana Prisons Service.
The intake course had array of young men and women from different academic and professional backgrounds including business administration, accounting, agriculture, law, nursing and allied health services, among others.
The intake 31 were admitted into the Prisons Officers Training School on February 3, this year and the Officer Cadets were trained in paramilitary training, physical fitness and aspects of psychological preparation, high-risk and counter terrorism training.
They were also equipped with skills and capabilities to handle firearms and non-lethal weapons to protect the prisons and ensure public safety.
As part of the occasion, the overall best Cadet Officer award was presented to Akyamfour Baah Kwaku Baffour, best in academics was presented to Charles Leander and Vida Dampo received the Commandant’s award.
BY ANITA NYARKOYIRENKYI