Aftercare activities in prisons to be revamped

Accra, Reverend David Ofosuhene, the President of Coalition of Prison Evangelist Ghana (COPE-Ghana), says prisons ministries in the country are not doing much and the group intends to revamp aftercare activities for the inmates.

He said aftercare activities which were transitional homes where prisoners access to continue with their rehabilitation process before going home, was not making progress and when revamped would help in the various prisons.

"Our interest is so much in rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates, and when our goal is achieved with the assistance of benevolent people in society as well as other organisations, we will start an aftercare activity in the Ashanti Region.

Rev Ofosuhene said this at the 12th anniversary celebration and workshop held by COPE-Ghana in Accra on Thursday.

He said COPE which was inaugurated in 2005 with the aim of facilitating the reformation and rehabilitation of convicts also addresses convicts' reintegration problems upon their return from jail.

He noted that COPE had over the 12 years of its existence co-operated with the Ghana Prisons Services in the realisation of its aims and objectives.

Mr Patrick Darko Missah, the Acting Director General of Prisons, lauding COPE for its works over the years and called for more competent prison officers as a paramount tool in helping COPE's goals to be achieved in the coming years.

He said the prison was running an effective training programme with officers being engaged to be inculcated with professional ideas that would help the sector.

"Ghana Prisons Service needs well trained ministers to assist COPE and this professional training in this direction is encouraged," he said.

Mr Darko Missah also called for prospective ministers who would provide spiritual assistance to COPE in the discharge of COPE members' duties to convicts.

Mrs Cynthia Williams, the Director of International CrossRoads Prison, said globally there about 10 million prisoners in the world.

"Ninety five per cent will ultimately be released, 66 per cent will be rearrested with 50 per cent of those rearrested being returned to prison," she said.

According Mrs Williams, Ghana had about less than 13 thousand prisoners.

She however called for God's Word as a transformational tool that would help equip lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Mentoring both in prison and after re-entry increases the long-term effectiveness where recidivism rates are lowered significantly," she said.

Rev Seth Baah Agyekum, An Associate Minister Prisons Church Cantonments, advised COPE members to reach out prisoners extensively as they needed salvation.

"You must do the will of God from your heart and standing perfect to the will of God.

"Twelve years may not be enough, but this is the time you have to do whatever you must do for God and His Kingdom," he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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