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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Betty: “Nearly a Thousand Wrongfully Imprisoned Based On Expired Warrants”

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu, has revealed that nearly a thousand people have been wrongfully imprisoned eventhough their warrants had expired.

Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu, who was clearly repulsed at the situation, disclosed that the problem had arisen as a result of poor tracking system and permanent lack of efficiency on the part of those who in charge.

“There must be some thousand people in prison at the moment whose arrest warrants have expired but they are still in jail. Under the Criminal Justice System, there is no basis under the law for them to be where they are,” she lamented.

Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu was speaking on ‘Kokrokoo’ following CHRAJ’s visit to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison yesterday and subsequent revelations that the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, built in 1960, has exceeded its ideal average capacity by 2,233.

The prison currently holds 2950 inmates instead of the original capacity of 717.

She however disclosed that her ministry will as a matter of urgency, look into various lapses at the prisons and “reinforce a more restorative justice system.

“The system we have currently is more punitive than reformative, and it’s out-moded. Restorative system of justice is much better….Taking Judges and Prosecutors to see the living conditions in the prisons is not the way, it won’t solve it. It’s a systemic and endemic problem, and we must fashion out ways of addressing them,… it’s a deplorable situation, it is absolutely deplorable… it should not happen in Ghana, she said.
Source: Emmanuel Bekoe/peacefmonline

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