By Juliet Edmonds
A Deputy Minister of Interior, Naana Eyiah, has charged the Ghana Prisons Service to implement digital record-keeping systems, biometric identification, and security surveillance to enhance the overall management and security of the prisoners.
She made this remark at the passing-out parade of Recruit Course 123 of the Ghana Prison Service in Accra.
More than four hundred graduating officers were drawn from various professional and vocational backgrounds. They are mainly general-duty personnel and artisans, comprising carpenters, masons, plumbers, and mechanics. Others have Diplomas and Higher National Diploma in various disciplines, including education, nursing, agriculture, and secretarial duties.
In January 2023, the course participants first reported to the Prison Officers Training School for the first phase of the training, which comprises psychological preparation and general orientation necessary for the performance of the functions of a Prison Officer.
Later, the trainees were dispatched to the various prisons across the country on practical attachment from January 2023 to August 2023 to undertake the second phase of their training programme. This phase includes comprehensive classroom instructions, regimental drills, and physical training, as well as operational activities.
For the final phase of training, Recruit Course 123 returned to the Training School on 1st September, 2023 for classroom work and the writing of final examinations on penal statistics, reception duties, prison duties, interpersonal skills, penal law, and first aid.
The recruits also went through some regimental and fire emergency drills, firearms training, and sensitization on counterterrorism.
A Deputy Minister of the Interior, Madam Naana Eyiah, said it is a clear fact that well-trained officers are the pillars of a secure and civilised prison environment, and therefore the government is committed to supporting the training and education of personnel.
She called on the recruits to ensure discipline and professionalism at all times.
“The government continues to resource the security agencies by improving the manpower base of the services, which includes the Ghana Prisons Service. The Prisons Service plays a role in ensuring the rehabilitation and reintegration of our brothers and sisters who come into contact with the criminal justice system. To truly serve its purpose, the Ghana Prisons Service requires considerable investment in capacity building, hence the government’s commitment to this effort.”
“Government is committed to supporting the training and education of the personnel of the Prisons Service. The management of the service is challenged to equip the prison officers with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle the unique challenges of the profession. These specialised training will include training in quality inmate management, security protocols in prison facilities, healthcare, and counseling and mentoring of prisoners. It is a clear fact that well-trained staff are the pillars of a secure and civilised prison environment.”
“The Ghana Prisons Service as a state security agency, is legally mandated to manage the prison system in the country. To discharge the mandate of the Prisons Service of ensuring safe custody and welfare of prisoners presents challenges, for which you should be vigilant and dedicated to your duties as Prisons Officers and act with utmost professionalism.”
“To recruits passing out today, you are a great boost to the staff strength and operational capacity of the Service. I, therefore, charge you to exhibit the skills and knowledge acquired through your training. Let discipline and professionalism continue to guide your conduct at all times and adopt the principles of vigilance, humility, and respect in the discharge of your duties.”
“Treat the prisoners with care, respect, and decency without compromising your professional ethics bearing in mind that imprisonment is punishment in itself and not for you to further punish. Direct your energies towards self-improvement and avoid all acts of indiscipline to safeguard your career.
Remember that there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” station; wherever you are posted, it presents opportunities for your growth and development.”
FRO 97 Esther Larbi was the best in Academic, RO. 229; Isaac Ahor Larbi won the overall best recruit; Commandant’s award went to RO. 53. Frank Kyeremanteng, RO. 92 Joel Ampadu Bosopem won best in drill, and best in physical training went to RO. Bernard Botchway Yeboah. After nine months of training, Recruit Course 123 are promoted to the rank of second-class officers.