The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Her Excellency, Lordina Mahama on the 9th of March, 2016 paid a historic visit to the Nsawam Female Prison. She is the first sitting first lady to embark on such a visit and also the first to officially support the prisons via Project ‘Efiase’.

The purpose of her visit was to donate medical equipment, assorted pharmaceuticals and food items worth thousands of Ghana Cedis to the prison. This donation was triggered by the humble plea made by the Ghana Prisons Service Council through the Project ‘Efiase’ campaign which was launched by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama on 30th June, 2015.

Members of the Directorate of the Ghana Prisons Service and Prisons Service Council, as well as other important dignitaries were present to witness this august visitation.

The first lady was received by the Ag. Director-General of Prisons, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator and was presented with a lovely bouquet by a girl, beautifully dressed in Kente and adored with elegant traditional beads.

Her Excellency the First Lady then inspected an all-female prisons officer’s quarter guard mounted in her honour, and was accompanied by the Ag Director-General of Prisons, Mr Emmanuel Adzator and the Eastern Regional Commander, Deputy Director of Prisons, Mr. Isaac Egyir.

The Chairman of the Prisons Service Council, Rev. Dr Stephen Wengam took the first lady on a tour of the prison for her to see for herself the living conditions of inmates and state of the prison.

Her Excellency the first lady then mounted the stage and delivered a speech.

In her speech, she stated that minor offences such as stealing can be given non-custodial sentences like community service instead of custodial sentences. She further stressed that the current practice of awarding custodial sentences to all convicted persons only adds on to congestion conditions prevailing in our prisons currently and also increases the budget of the Prisons Service. Also, she pledged her support to Project ‘Efiase’ and promised to support the inmates of the prison in the vocational training.

1After her speech, she met with PROWA (Prison Officers Wives Association). The leaders of the association confided in the first lady of their current hardship and the first lady promised to help them so that they can access the MASLOC loans in order to help them raise capital for their businesses.


Present at this historic visit were also some leading Ghanaian musicians. Noticeable among them is the president of MUSIGA—Mr. Bice Osei Kuffour.

Two plagues were presented to Her Excellency the First Lady on her visit. This was presented by the Ghana Prisons Service to show their appreciation for her generosity to the Service.

She first received a beautifully framed citation and later unveiled a marble plague, all in her honour.

The citation was presented to Her Excellency by the Ag Director–General of Prisons and the chairman of the Ghana Prisons Service Council.

8The Eastern Regional Commander assisted the First Lady in unveiling the marble plaque.

She then handed over the medical equipment, assorted pharmaceuticals and food items to the Ag Director – General of Prisons for the absolute use of the Ghana Prisons Service to better the health needs of inmates of the prison.

Among the medical equipment presented were a state of the art theatre bed, catheters, syringes, mosquito nets, collar, forceps, bandages, gauze, beds, mattresses, blood pressure devices, wheel chairs, blood sample machines, bandages and gloves. Assorted food items were also donated to the prison by the First Lady. These include bags of rice and sugar, gallons of cooking oil and boxes tin tomatoes.



Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghana Prisons Council Discusses Project Efiase with New U.S. Ambassador

From R to L, Sup Charles Ameyaw (Secretary to Council), Solomon Appiah (Council Member - President's Nominee), Mr Emmanuel Yao Adzator (Acting Director General of Prisons Service), Nana Baffour Okumanin (Prisons Council - President's Nominee ), Ambassador Robert Porter Jackson (US Ambassador to Ghana), Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam (Chairman of Prisons Council), Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong (Council Member representing religious bodies), Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei (Council Member representing Ghana Medical Association), Mr Samuel Amankwah (Council Member representing Ministry of the Interior) and Director of Prisons LKA Ansah (Council Member representing superior officers)

From L to R, Sup Charles Ameyaw (Secretary to Council), Solomon Appiah (Council Member – President’s Nominee), Mr Emmanuel Yao Adzator (Acting Director General of Prisons Service), Nana Baffour Okumanin (Prisons Council – President’s Nominee ), Ambassador Robert Porter Jackson (US Ambassador to Ghana), Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam (Chairman of Prisons Council), Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong (Council Member representing religious bodies), Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei (Council Member representing Ghana Medical Association), Mr Samuel Amankwah (Council Member representing Ministry of the Interior) and Director of Prisons LKA Ansah (Council Member representing superior officers)

Robert Porter Jackson was sworn in November 30, 2015 as President Obama’s new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana—taking over from Gene A. Cretz—after the U.S. Senate confirmed Ambassador Jackson’s nomination on October 22, 2015.

The 6th Ghana Prisons Service Council led by Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam paid a courtesy call on him & his outfit to discuss amongst other issues Project Efiase, corrections reform, rehabilitation and public safety on February 26, 2016. The Council had paid a courtesy call on his predecessor as well. The fruit of discussions thus far include donation of sewing machines received from the Embassy in 2015 and capacity building courses in Colorado and Florida for senior and middle level managers of the Ghana Prisons Service in 2015 and 2016.

Ghana has for decades enjoyed a measure of peace, stability and public safety. This is the reason many international organizations locate their African headquarters in Ghana. But that reality seems to be in danger of being jeopardized with the steady increase of crime in recent years. Recently an ex-convict murdered a member of parliament. This is unprecedented in Ghana’s history. Part of the reason for the increase in ex-convict related crime is that, due to a lack of resources, instead of rehabilitating inmates, some of Ghana’s prisons have become institutions of higher learning for criminal activities. Rehabilitation is hampered by several factors, some of which include inadequate classification of inmates for treatment, spatial challenges, and the lack of purpose built infrastructure for taking custody of various categories / classifications of prisoners. Remand inmates (pre-trial) are sometimes lumped together with convicted criminals. The Service also lacks workshops etc for training activities. Tackling the issue of rehabilitation will undoubtedly impact favorably on public safety but this is expensive and the government though trying its best cannot do it alone hence the need for Project Efiase. This and many other pertinent issues were discussed with the newly appointed ambassador who has an impressive resume summarized in the next section.

At his swearing-in ceremony, the ambassador had the following to say about his new posting to Ghana. As per a Press Release from the U.S. Embassy Ghana,

[My wife] Babs and I are excited about moving to Ghana, one of the leading democracies on the African continent, with active political parties and civil society organizations, a lively media, a history of peaceful political transitions, an apolitical military, and a good human rights record.

As Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, I intend to build on what I have learned over the last 33 years … about building partnerships. My priorities will be to promote strong institutions, good governance, peace, trade, education, and health, unlocking Ghana’s potential for sustained, inclusive, broad-based economic growth and helping it graduate from traditional development assistance.

Three years from now … I trust we will say that the relationship is stronger than ever and that together the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana have each benefited from our friendship, commerce, engagement and exchanges”.

Prior Appointments

His former portfolio includes:

  • U.S. Department of State’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs since October 2013.
  • Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon – 2010 to 2013
  • Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Rabat, Morocco
  • Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Dakar, Senegal
  • Political/Economic Counselor, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
  • Political-Military Officer, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Chief of the Political Section, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Political/Economic Officer in Bujumbura, Burundi
  • Consular/Economic Officer in Montreal, Canada

Other Appointments

  • Director of the Office for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy
  • Country Officer for Zimbabwe, Botswana and Nigeria
  • Coordinator of the Entry-Level Officer Training Program
  • Deputy Director of the Orientation Division at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.


As per the press release, Ambassador Jackson earned his M.S. in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University, his M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his B.A. in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Ambassador Jackson speaks French and Portuguese

Members of the Prisons Council meeting with former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Gene A. Cretz

Members of the Prisons Council meeting with former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Gene A. Cretz

Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment



By ASP JACKSON AGYEPONG | Ghana Prisons Service | Email: jkagyepong@gmail.com

News making waves on radio alludes that water shortage in the Nsawam Township has caused inmates of the Nsawam Medium Security Prison to riot. This is untrue and can only be referred to as a fabricated story.

Acute water shortage in the Nsawam – Adoagyiri area has become a perennial phenomenon. This can be attributed to a drastic drop of water levels in the water treatment plant reservoir of the Ghana Water Company Limited. This drop is as a result of the drying up of the Densu River which supplies water to the treatment plant reservoir – this is largely due to the Harmattan. The Harmattan is a hot, dry wind that blows from the northeast or east in the Western Sahara and is strongest in late fall and winter (late November to mid-March) according to Encyclopædia Britannica.

Indeed the Medium Security Prison has been hit hard by this acute water shortage in the Nsawam Township but the Eastern Regional Command of the Ghana Prisons Service has ensured that inmates do not feel the hardship that the larger community is feeling with regards to the acute water shortage.

Water is life and living healthy is having access to potable water. Persons in prison custody have the right to healthy living but do not have the liberty of going to search for their own water because of their imprisonment – this responsibility therefore falls on the Prisons Administration. Granted, the prison has other challenges such as overcrowding that the 6th Ghana Prisons Council through Project Efiase is working on solving but acute water shortages leading to riots is not one of them.

Water is used extensively by both inmates and prison officers for the day to day administration of the prison. The uses of water by inmates are enormous and these include bathing, doing laundry, scrubbing cells and prison yard, drinking, preparing food among others.

Prison Authorities are well aware of the importance of water in the prison and have put in place measures to ensure that water is made available to inmates at all times. This is because the Prison Service is mandated by law to ensure the welfare of inmates in it custody which includes the bedding, feeding and health care for inmates. The availability of water in the prison environment plays a major role in ensuring that inmates and prison hygiene are upheld – thereby promoting healthy living and preventing the spread of contagious diseases in the prison.

The Eastern Regional Command has therefore put in place measures to ensure that water is always made available for both inmate and administration use. The Eastern Regional Command has employed the services of water tankers to supply the prison with potable water for their day to day use.

Water Tankers belonging to the Ghana Prisons Service and the District Assembly have been tasked by their respective institution to supply water to the prison on a daily basis.

The above mentioned intervention is so far working perfectly without any complaints from any of the water delivery players or the affected inmates of the prison. Therefore it will be completely out of place to suggest that inmates of the prison are rioting over the acute water shortage in the Nsawam Township.

The Ghana Prison Service is however considering a permanent solution to the perennial crises and at the top of this is the building of a water treatment plant to augment that of the Ghana Water Company Limited. However, the source of the water for the treatment plant would be from boreholes which are less likely to dry up.

The Ghana Prisons Service is thus opened to Private Public Partnership to corporate institutions with the requisite manpower and financial resources in dealing with this challenge.

Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Efiase Scorecard

10987742_874547665958377_7604370022641000013_oBy Solomon Appiah
Member 6th Prisons Council | Chairman Project Efiase Planning Committee | Twitter:@s_apiah

When the 6th Ghana Prisons Service Council took office in December 2014, they assessed the needs of the Ghana Prisons Service and hit the ground running under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Stephen Y. Wengam—looking for solutions to the challenges identified.


Infrastructure is a major challenge that spawns other challenges such as acute-congestion, poor classification and treatment systems, high disease burden etc. When there is not enough space to take custody of inmates, prison stations are forced to take in up to 400% over their capacity. Packing people in such environments can lead to the spread of skin diseases and other diseases related to congestion.

Another grave challenge facing prisons in Ghana is transportation. There is the need for trucks and tractors to enable the officers cultivate large parcels of land. Prison officers sometimes use public transport—trotro—to transport inmates from cells to courts and to hospitals which are many times located far from the prisons. There are reported situations where trotro’s ferrying prisoners have broken down in the middle of the bush and unarmed officers have to find creative ways of securing a bus-load of inmates.

Regional Commanders of the Service and Officers in Charge (OICs) of various prison stations have to make do with old rickety vehicles that are honestly no longer road-worthy and rather death traps.

Furthermore food rations for inmates are drastically inadequate—mostly devoid of sufficient proteins.

After the President’s visit to prison, the minister of finance cited the first gentleman description of the situation in Ghana prisons as one of supreme humanitarian need.


In proffering solutions to aforementioned challenges, the 6th Ghana Prisons Service Council decided to launch Project Efiase and the 10-Year Strategic Development Plan (2015 – 2025).

The Strategic Development Plan captures the “big picture” of what the Ghana Prisons Service is going over the next 10 years. In accomplishing the goals in this plan, the accompanying Project Efiase is aimed at changing public perceptions about the Service and soliciting contracts and funding to support the plan.

In the interest of garnering support for prison reform, the Council has paid and continues to pay courtesy calls on various public and private sector organizations. The Council has paid courtesy calls on the President of the Republic where the needs and challenges of Ghana prisons were spelt out as well as a road map for solving these challenges—that is, the 10-Year Strategic Plan. The Council has also visited the heads of the other two arms of government apart from the Executive namely, the Chief Justice and the Speaker of Parliament. It also paid a Courtesy call on the Attorney General asking for assistance with laws for the implementation of non-custodial sentencing regime(s) and parole system. The Council has visited media houses, embassies, banks, universities and other organizations to encourage support for the project and the 10-Year Plan.

At the invitation of the Council, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama launched Project Efiase and the Ghana Prisons Service’s 10-Year Strategic Development Plan on June 30, 2015 at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons—where he was the Special Guest of Honour.

The bane of many such strategic plans in the public sector is insufficient oversight over poor implementation but the present Council is bent of properly monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the plan during its tenure.

At the launch of the project and the plan, the President of the Republic pledged to visit a prison, and bring his finance minister along so that both could be better assess prison conditions so government can undertake informed assistance of the prisons.

On July 3, 2015, President Mahama became the first sitting President in Ghana’s history to visit a prison, enter the prisons block and engage with prisoners in the heart of the prison—the cells. After this one-on-one interaction, he had a durbar with all 3,500 inmates. This was unprecedented. Following his visit, President Obama following in President Mahama’s footsteps became the first sitting US president to visit a federal jail.


Following the visit to prison, the minister of finance read the mid-year review of the budget statement and economic policy and supplementary estimates of the government of Ghana for the 2015 financial year to Parliament. Section 33 stated:

Recall His Excellency’s visit to the Nsawam Prisons after participating in the Efiase Project. As he observed, it is another area of supreme humanitarian need that requires Government action. Every effort is being made by relevant MDAs to reprioritize expenditures to complement the promise of GH¢50 million assistance to enable us respond to these needs appropriately. Plans are also being put in place, including the alignment of IGFs and statutory funds to mitigate the risk of similar future disasters“.


The Government of Ghana continues to give funds towards the completion of the only Maximum Security prison in Ghana at Ankaful. Despite the grave economic circumstances that Ghana finds itself in, during the President’s visit to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, he promised to build new blocks for inmates to ease congestion.


The government has donated vehicles to the Ghana Prisons Service to ease the transportation challenges—replacing old worn out Mahindras with 7 Toyota Prado’s, 10 Mitsubishi buses, 20 New Nissan Navara pickup trucks, 7 Toyota Camry’s, 7 Nissan Sentra, 6 Nissan Sunny’s and 20 Yamaha Motorcycles. This is a total of 77 motor vehicles.

Prior to these cars being handed over by the presidency, the minister of interior donated 1 bus and the ministry of transport also donated 1 bus to Project Efiase.

This is hardly sufficient for the overwhelming needs of the Service when one considers the number of stations across the nation nevertheless when one also considers the dire economic situation the country finds itself in, this is a laudable effort by government.


The government through the ministry of fisheries has augmented the protein intake of inmates by donating five shipping containers of Tuna. Efforts are being made with the Services’ Agricultural division to also improve the dietary intake of inmates.


Not long ago, the Ghana Prisons Service was saddled with enormous hospital bills for inmate treatment from various hospitals. Inmates were not covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). But thankfully, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) launched in 2015 a program to register all prison inmates across the country under the National Health Insurance Scheme. This will go a long way to improve access to healthcare for inmates and reduce the health costs for the Ghana Prisons Service.

Furthermore, the NHIA boss ensured the accreditation of the Nsawam Prisons infirmary to enable them submit claims to the NHIA to bolster their Internally Generated Fund (IGF) sources, in addition to the relief of providing inmates NHIS cards for free.


3M&C, a health organization donated medical supplies and drugs to the GPS which were sent to Kumasi and Nsawam Prisons. The Malku Foundation also on July 15 via the chairman of the Project Efiase planning committee brought together local doctors, medical students and nurses to attend to the health needs of inmates at the Nsawam Prison. The team of 30 was divided into 4 stations—3 consultation stations and 1 dispensary. The mission started round about 9:45am and concluded at 4:30pm by which time 341 documented inmates/patients had been seen, their ailments diagnosed and most given drugs as well as walking and seeing aids. Some of the leftover medical supplies were left at Nsawam Prison. The remainder will be given to other prisons in the country.


The management of EPP books donated stationery supplies to support the ongoing Prison reforms. The donation included 5 Laptops, 5 Flat Screen Hasee Computers and 5 sets of Encyclopaedia.

The Chinese embassy donated 10 computers and UPS’ and 10 sewing machines as well as opportunities for training.


On January 8, 2016, the Chief Justice of Ghana , the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) Ghana Chapter, and the Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMJG) donated soap and toothpaste to the Nsawam Medium security prison. They promised to make similar donations to other prisons. The spokesperson for the Judges explained that though their constitutional functions may require them to commit persons guilty of crimes to prisons, they still cared about prisoners and were donating these items as part of their social functions.


The Arch Bishop Nicholas Duncan Williams donated 100 bags of rice, 100 gallons of oil and 2 cows to Project Efiase for inmates for Christmas 2015.


The Chairman of the Council has orchestrated a training partnership agreement between the Service and the Saginaw Valley University in the United States of America aimed at improving the capacity of officers. The MOU is yet to be signed.

From December 15-19, 2015, the Council through Project Efiase organized a special capacity building seminar for the directorate and other ranks at the Pentecost Convention Centre Millennium City, Gomoa Fetteh near Kasoa.

The US Embassy has offered correctional institutional management training for the Ghana Prisons Service


These above are some of the dividends of Project Efiase thus far. There remains much to be done to make a dent in the need of the service which takes custody of over 15,000 inmates across the length and breadth of the nation.

All are thus encouraged to support Project Efiase and the 10-Year Strategic Plan. Kitiwa Bia Nsua.

Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 2016 Highlights: Chairman Stephen Wengam Championing Project Efiase Internationally


The Chairman of the 6th Ghana Prisons Council, Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam paid a courtesy call on the Executive Director of Colorado State Dept of Corrections, Rick Raemisch … holding discussions on future collaborations between the Ghana Prisons Service and the Colorado State Dept of Corrections. Ayekoo Chairman Wengam for working tirelessly for the progress of the Ghana Prisons Service within and outside Ghana.

GOD Bless you!


The above picture is the Chairman of the 6th Ghana Prisons Council, Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam speaking at the International Correction Management Training Centre, Colorado, USA on PRISONS REFORMS: the Ghana Project Efiase Model.

Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


wage of crimeBy ASP JACKSON AGYEPONG | Ghana Prisons Service Headquarters |Email: jkagyepong@gmail.com

Crime is infectious and Project Efiase if supported by the public and corporate Ghana has the potential to curb this infectious nature of crime. But first things first, what is crime? Many have defined crime in different ways. What is defined as crime in one geographical location might not necessary constitute a crime in another place. Even time has a direct effect on what is crime or is not. With reference to the above, I define crime as any intentional or unintentional act that violates a law and has its accompanying punishment stated clearly in a written law in a particular place and time.

The 1992 constitution of Ghana mandates the Ghana Prison Prisons Service to take into safe custody any person convicted of a crime by a competent court of jurisdiction, while ensuring their welfare in upholding their basic human rights and ensuring the rehabilitation and reformation of the same wherever practicable.

Crime Infestations (The Spread of Crimes in Ghana’s Prisons)

A prison is a total Institution on its own. A total institution is a highly ordered and restrictive social institution which requires a high level of management—and has its own cultures and sub-cultures. The one which is of interest to this article is the inmate sub-culture. This shapes the behavior of inmates. Inmate sub-culture is a set of norms, beliefs, values and behaviors that govern the conduct of inmates in a particular prison. These norms etc. are not necessarily legal or captured in any legal document.

Inmate sub-culture emanates from two main sources namely deprivation and importation. The latter refers to the importation of norms, behaviors and beliefs into the prison by inmates—either from the outside world or other prisons from which they were transferred. Imported sub-cultures have the potential to spread across the inmate population because all inmates suffer certain forms of deprivation and thus can associate themselves with the imported culture. Inmates generate strong psychological bonding amongst themselves which translate into strong ties of solidarity because of deprivation. This gives birth to small units within the prison. Within these units, leaders are bound to emerge and these leaders tend to exhibit considerable influence over other inmates regardless of their ethical persuasion or the crime that brought them to prison. Many inmates follow these leaders willingly while others are forced to do so because of a real or imagined fear of harm, neglect or victimization.

As the good book states, “Be not deceived, evil communication corrupts good manners”. This scripture is further emphasized by a TIME Magazine cover story titled “Chicago Bull” on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who left his job as White House Chief of Staff to run a broke, violence-plagued city.

The Mayor stated that crime can be transmitted from one person to the other. The cover story further adds that the brain cortical patterns are involved in copying behavior, and that damage to the limbic system can occur by victimization. This can make someone who is very sober become very violent and aggressive.

In reference to the above, notorious criminals can contaminate (infect) others who might be first offenders, or landed in prison by accident or in Ghana’s context who might simply be on remand because, in Ghana, many of our remand prisoners are mixed in with the general population without proper classification because of the lack of space and the attendant overcrowding challenge. This means, if care is not taken, many will come out of prison worse than they went in; making prisons potential educational institutions for churning out criminal graduates rather than institutes of reformation and rehabilitation for the production of productive ex-convicts. Project Efiase aims to combat and reduce this challenge by enlargement cells where practicable and/or improving classification systems.

Classification and Reformation

Classification is a method of assessing inmates’ risks that balance security requirements with program needs. It usually takes place before the prison service takes custody of inmates from a court of competent jurisdiction. Currently, the Ghana Prisons performs some classification based on the following:

Age: Adult prisoners are separated from young offenders. In Ghana, an offender below the age of 18 years is considered a juvenile.

Gender: Female offenders are separated from male offenders in accommodation but may use the same educational facilities owing to a lack of resources.

Facility Classification: The Service has classified the 43 prison facilities according to the level of security arrangement of the facility. The facilities are classified into maximum, medium, minimum securities and open facilities. However, only 3 out of the 43 prisons were purposefully built as prison facilities.

In other jurisdictions where resources are available, classification covers other issues such as the psychological and mental needs of inmates but unfortunately, Ghana Prisons Service is not able to do this now. We do not even have qualified mental health personnel in each of our prisons to assist with such classification.

Additionally the Service is at present not able to adequately separate first offenders, second offenders, recidivists, lifers, condemned and convicts on-trial due the serious congestions in most of the prison facilities in the country. This makes it very difficult for the Service to roll out of specific treatment programs for specific group of inmates for their rehabilitation and reformation.

Ending this Menace with Project ‘Efiase’

It is for the above problem and others that Project ‘Efiase’ was constituted and inaugurated. Reformation and rehabilitation is one of the 3 functions of the Ghana Prisons Service. The project was launched to enable the Service to fulfill its functions. But this will take lots of money and resources. Please assist the Ghana Prisons Service to contribute to the safety of the nation by donating to Project Efiase so these funds can be used to improve prison conditions and reduce the infectious nature of crime. Contribute to

Support Project Efiase by donating to:


Bank: Ecobank Bank Ghana Ltd.

Branch: Ridge, Accra.

Account Name: Prisons Reform Trust.

Account Number: 0010084415563401.


Bank: Royal Bank

Branch: Castle Road

Account Name: Prisons Reform Trust

Account Number: 0210312745617


Bank: uniBank Ghana Limited

Branch: World Trade Centre Building

Account Name: Prisons Reform Trust

Account Number: 032022392513 (Dollar Account)


Bank: uniBank Ghana Limited

Branch: World Trade Centre Building

Account Name: Prisons Reform Trust

Account Number: 2110123092519 (Cedi Account)

Or you can make your donations using MTN Mobile Money. Please follow the steps below to make your donations:

  • On your phone menu locate “My MTN” and select “Mobile Money”.
  • Select “Pay Bill”.
  • Select “general payment”.
  • Enter “prisons” under “payment code”.
  • Please “OK” to confirm payments to Ghana Prison Service
  • Give a suitable description under “reference”. Example, Efiase.
  • The amount being donated. Example, 100 for 100 Ghana Cedis.
  • Confirm payment again by entering your “Mobile Money Pin”.
  • You will receive SMS confirmation message for successful payment.

Donate generously to Project ‘EFIASE’ and Help us build a better Prison System for a Better Ghana.

Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project ‘Efiase’: A tool to address Juvenile detention and reformation

1.5152680ASP Bright Dogbatse | Ghana Prisons Service Senior Corrections Centre

There are about One Hundred and Thirty/130 children in detention as at September, 2015. These children- who are all boys- are detained at the Senior Correctional Centre in Accra. The Senior Correctional Centre- formerly known as the Ghana Borstal Institute (GBI) is the only functional male juvenile reformatory centre in the country. Thus the facility serves as a receptacle for all committed male juvenile offenders from all over the country. It was established on May 17, 1947 to save the young and careless boys from wasted life of crime. Its motto is ‘I shall rise again’.

The institution was initially run by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) but it later handed over its administration to the Ghana Prisons Service in 1958. Since then, it has undergone several administrative and legal regimes until the Juvenile Justice Act, 2003 (Act 653) was passed by the parliament of the Republic of Ghana.

The Juvenile Justice Act renamed the Ghana Borstal Institute (GBI) as Senior Correctional Centre (SCC). The document technically shifted from punitive to correction of young offenders. It stressed the need for institutionalization of juveniles as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

In fact the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing rules), 26 states that, the objective of training and treatment of juveniles placed in institutions is to provide care, protection, education and vocational skills, with the view of assisting them to assume socially constructive and productive roles in society.

In this light, the Senior Correctional Centre has a huge responsibility to correct, reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate into society the children committed it. Detention of the boys at the centre is primarily to remove them from moral and physical danger and by extension an opportunity for the centre to have access to them so as to treat, train and educate them.

It is indeed refreshing to note that the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s report on his 2013 visit to Ghana, on juvenile offender treatment, has noted the efforts being made by the Ghana Prisons Service and for that matter, the Government of Ghana to transform and assist the children in detention to assume socially constructive and productive roles in society and to eliminate their chances of graduating into hardened adult criminals.

The UN Special Rapporteur noted among other things that: the boys at the facility-SCC were between 12 and 18 years old, they receive formal education at the junior high-school level and several have been admitted in to senior high school. The Centre also offers vocational training in 15 different workshops, including information and communication technology. The facility is an open camp with communal houses for sleeping. Medical care is provided by medical aides, and more than 50 percent of the juveniles do not receive family visits, either because their families live far away or they have been abandoned.

As noted above, it is evident; undoubtedly, that the Centre has been able to provide formal education, vocational training, health-care among others for the boys. However, it is has done so in an uncertain environment and with very little resources, making it a challenge for the Service to provide holistic treatment and reintegration of the boys. There is the need to have qualified medical and mental healthcare personnel attend to these young offenders. But the Service does nt have the luxury of providing this at the moment. Another area of need is for instance, after treating, training and certifying these young offenders, it is difficult or impossible for them on their release to practice the vocation as a result of lack of start-up capital and or basic tool-kits. This disappointment sometimes frustrates them and easily re-ignites the tendency to slip back to reoffending.

These gaps need to be closed up immediately because we will have only ourselves to blame if we are unable to assist via project ‘Efiase’ with our resources–in kind and/or with cash. It is in our country’s best interest to keep the young boys from becoming hardened criminals.

It is this regard that the then Acting Director General of Prisons Madam Matilda Baffour Awuah at a durbar with the staff of Senior Correctional Centre on 11th April, 2013 announced the Service’s willingness to partner with the public in varied ways to help transform the Senior Correctional Centre into a model juvenile reformatory.

To be able to transform the centre into a model reformatory we need to:

  • Rehabilitate and provide decent and safe accommodation for the boys;
  • Improve upon and sustain the quality of food for the boys;
  • Provide functional and child friendly classrooms, teaching and learning materials and a science laboratory ;
  • Institute scholarship schemes for the senior high-school students
  • Provide a bus for educational trips;
  • Provide decent school uniform for them;
  • Maintain a well resourced infirmary with adequate basic drugs;
  • Provide modern workshops and tools for skills training;
  • Facilitate acquisition of start-up capital and tool-kits to ensure proper reintegration of the boys;
  • Provide educational exchange programmes for the boys to help re-socialize them; and
  • Ensure continuous education and training of the officers in acceptable juvenile offender treatment and management methods.

This is a challenge that is quite big for one institution or even the state to accomplish within a reasonable time frame. Nevertheless with the support of all of us, individuals, religious groups, civil society and corporate Ghana via their corporate social responsibility initiatives, we can easily help provide a better environment for our children in custody and also ensure a safe, secure and brighter future for them.

Project ‘Efiase’ was launched by the 6th Prisons Service Council under the Chairmanship of Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam to ‘sell’ the conditions in the prisons to the public, soliciting and harnessing assistance and resources in whatever form to compliment government’s efforts in improving the welfare conditions of persons including children in prison custody. Please be encouraged to support the Prisons Service to transform the Senior Correctional Centre into a model reformatory by donating to the Prison Reform Trust Fund. This is our responsibility as a Ghanaian society. As noted by Nelson Mandela,” There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”.

Donate now to save our children in detention for safer tomorrow.


Posted in Ghana Prisons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment