Release non-violent convicted drug users amid COVID-19 – POS Foundation to Gov’t
POS Foundation has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to grant more amnesty to persons convicted for minor offences and misbehaviours.
The facilitators of the state-driven intervention “Justice For All Programme” made this known during a donation exercise at Nsawam Medium Security Prisons on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
Executive Director of POS Foundation, Jonathan Osei Owusu, while speaking at the donation exercise, commended the President for granting amnesty to 808 Prisoners. However, he further called on stakeholders to push for non-violent drug users to be granted amnesty. This he believes will help curtail any possible spread of the coronavirus in the prisons in case of an outbreak.
He stressed that persons convicted for minor offences and misdemeanours should be considered to ease congestion in the prisons.
As part of the Foundation’s donation included Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and a cheque of GHc2,000 to the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons as part of the COVID-19 Response Prison Outreach Programme. Other items which were donated to the Prison included clothing, sanitizers, buckets, soap detergents and others worth GHc40,000.
Mr. Osei Owusu stated that other prisons expected to benefit from this mass distribution exercise include the Kumasi Central Prisons, Sunyani Central Prisons, Tamale Central and the Navrongo Local Prison.
Also speaking at the donation exercise, Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (DSP) and Public Relations Officer for the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, Adamu Abdul Latif who received the items on behalf of the Nsawam Prison backed the call for more persons to be granted presidential pardon amid COVID-19. He also expressed gratitude to the POS Foundation and its partners for their continuous support for prisons across the country.
Other activities at the donation exercise
The Foundation also held a training and orientation programme for the Prisoners on COVID-19 and its security implications on Ghana’s Prisons in case of an outbreak in the Prisons.
The Medical Superintendent of the Nsawam Medium Prisons, DSP Dr. Lawrence Acheampong during the training outlined the measures implemented in place by the Ghana Prisons Service before Ghana recorded the first two cases.
The POS Foundation together with its funding agencies (GIZ/German Cooperation and Open Society Foundation/OSIWA) will move to prisons in other regions to donate in support of the fight against COVID-19 in Ghana’s Prisons.