Centre for Human Rights Conflicts and Peace Studies Marks International Human Rights Day
First year students of the M.phil Human Rights programme of the Centre for Human Rights Conflicts and Peace Studies at the University of Education, Winneba has embarked on an educational visit to Nsawam Prison in the Eastern Region of Ghana on Friday 8th December, 2017, as part of the activities to mark the 2017 International Human Rights Day (which fell on Sunday 10th December, 2017).
The visit which presented the masters students of human rights the opportunity to observe conditions of the prisoners and gain insight into human rights dimensions in the prison was also a clarion call for all to join the campaign on the theme "Stand for Justice for All" which began in September, 2017 to help the poor and needy in society.
In his address, the Commander of the Prison Services, ASP Adamu Abdul Latif presented the historical background of Nsawam Prison to the students. He touched on the structural developments of the place. He said that "the prison can be likened to the hospital where criminals get treatment to become better people. He noted that it is a rehabilitation centre." He further stated that the prison service gets its mandate from Chapter 6 Article 205 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the 1972 Prisons Service Decree, The Prisons Regulations - 1958 (LN412) and many others.
Touching on the administrative structure of the Nsawam Prison, he indicated that a total of 463 officers were at post with five teachers and five National Service Personnel as support staff. He noted that "momentarily 3,726 prisoners were in custody comprising; convicts, those remanded, prisoners, lifers, condemned prisoners, trials and those sentenced at president's pleasure (mentally retarded). He indicated that offences that got them in prison included murder, rape, defilement, assault, robbery, manslaughter, fraud and many more."
Students were also taken through measures to ensure safe custody at the prison, admission and discharge procedures, reformation and rehabilitation programmes for prisoners, challenges of the prison and prisoners.
ASP Adamu indicated that the prisoners had access to food, clothing, soap, beds, fumigation of cells, visit permits, radio, television, formal and informal education and religious activities among many others.
A visit to the Nsawam High Court was also embarked upon where discussions were held with the Judge, Constant K. Hometowu to enlightened students on the proceedings and history of the court.
Donation of assorted items were presented to the Prisoners by Dr. Golo Harrison, Head of the Centre for Human Rights, Conflicts and Peace Studies on behalf of the first year M.phil Human Rights Class.