By J. K.
Winneba (C/R), Jan. 9, GNA - The authorities of the Winneba Local Prison has called on cooperate bodies to assist them to renovate their facility which is currently a risk to the lives of inmates, officers and the general public.
Divisional Director of Prison (DDP) D.N. Arthur, Officer In charge of the Prison, made the appeal at a Thanksgiving Church Service they held at the premise of the facility in Winneba.
He said the breeze from the sea has exerted its toll on the existing structure, hence its current deplorable situation and the need for funds to help improve the situation.
DDP Arthur said the Winneba Prison is one of the oldest prisons in the country and it was established in the 19th century among the few castles and forts that were converted into prisons during the colonial era and has since not seen any facelift.
He said it was initially established to house 80 inmates but currently the facility houses 250 inmates on the average.
DDP Arthur said apart from the Ankaful Prison, the Winneba Local Prison in the only prison that serves about 30 courts, spread across Central, Eastern and Greater Accra Regions.
He said during the year under review the performance of their mandate has been made possible with the support from their stakeholders especially the religious groups saying “God has indeed been so kind and merciful to us in 2018 and by his grace the station recorded no escape”.
DDP Arthur said they have put in place measures to promote rehabilitation and to prove basic skills and knowledge to the inmates under their care, saying this will ensure that the inmates acquire vocational and entrepreneurial skills.
He said this year a number of inmates would be registered for the NVTI Grade 1 and 2 Examinations and also to go into pineapple and pawpaw farming on a 22-acre land located at Effutu Ateitu.
DDP Arthur said the Non-Formal Education Division in the municipality has been organizing literacy classes for the inmates, saying they are being done in collaboration with the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
He said in collaboration with the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) under the auspices of the municipal assembly, the Association of Artisans and Garages in Winneba, we trained some of the inmates in various apprenticeship programme such as auto mechanics, welding, electronics and electrical.
DDP Arthur thanked the Effutu Assembly for handing over an old abandoned warehouse at the prison premises to be use as workshop for the inmates and expressed his appreciation to Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin MP for Effutu and Mr John Ninson for their personal continuous support to the service.
Pastor Gabriel Siaw, who represented the Area Head of the Church of Pentecost, quoting from Luke Chapter 2 Verse 8-14, said there is the need for people to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who has the power to transform lives.