the moment this part of the system seems almost absent and a critical look at
it will go a long way to ensure an efficient criminal justice system.
Mr Stephen Okpoti Mensah, the Eastern Regional Director of the Commission, expressed the concern on Friday in Koforidua at a meeting among criminal justice agencies.
The meeting, which was organized by the British High Commission was for criminal justice agencies of the Region to explore ways of collaboration to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system in the area.
Mr Mensah said the system must not only be interested in putting people away from society for a period of time only to release them onto the society in a worse state.
therefore, urged the authorities to consider the system of probation and
parole, adding But however, it is necessary to streamline the legal and
institutional framework to make this contribute effectively in ensuring
efficient criminal system.
Mr Mensah noted that those accused of crime had protection against abuse of investigatory and prosecution powers.
In this vein the focus of CHRAJ on ways of enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system covers congestion in our prisons detention policies, process of prosecution and the Reformative aspect.
Mr Mensah said their first concern was about prison and cited example of the two main prisons in the Eastern Region - Koforidua and Akuse prisons.
said for instance the Koforidua prison was originally built to accommodate
about 250 inmates but sometimes compelled to take up to 700 inmates.
Mr Mensah noted that as at 1500 hours on November 28 this year, the inmate population of the Koforidua prison stood at 687, made up of both remand and convicted prisoners.
He said Akuse was no exception and the situation had been the trend over the years, saying This is the reason why the Commission has been making recommendation for a second look at our sentencing policy.
Mr Mensah observed that many at times there were too many remand prisoners than necessary in the prison, adding that sometimes they found persons who had been on remand for very long periods for petty crimes without bail.
The Commissions attention has always been drawn to very slow prosecution for most of these cases and we propose that the bench, especially takes a critical look at the reasons for remanding prisoners who are brought before court."
Mr Mensah, therefore, recommended that modern ways of serving sentences should be quickly evolved to help the criminal justice system in the country.