Support correctional centres in Juvenile Justice Delivery

Accra Mr Bright Kweku Appiah, Executive Director of Child Rights International, has called on government to support Juvenile Correctional Centres in the country to ensure the smooth running of juvenile justice.

Mr Appiah said the few correctional centres left in the country were virtually being turned into vocational and technical institutions.

The Executive Director made the remarks at a News briefing on The State of the Ghanaian Juvenile System in Accra.

He said, the government in 1983 attached vocational schools to correctional centres to train juveniles and provide space for them to be reformed without keeping them in adult prisons.

Mr Appiah said the current state, where centres were virtually turned to vocational centres needed to be curbed.

The children for whom these centres were made are not enjoying the benefits of the centres, which are rather now enjoyed by other members of the public, he said.

He called on the government to revive the collapsed centres in the to make juvenile justice system more effective than it was now.

He said lack of support for the centres led to the collapse of a number of them, including; the Koforidua, Kumasi, and Cape Coast Juvenile Centres, adding that the few centres left such as the Girls Juvenile Correctional Centres and the Swedru Correctional Centre were now assumed the role of vocational centres instead of Juvenile Correctional Centres.

Mr Appiah said, currently, there were just three centres in the country, two in Accra and one in Swredru in the Central Region.

Among the three, the two in Accra are the Junior Juvenile Correctional Centre at Osu and the Senior Juvenile Corrrectional Centre at Dzowulu, and the third one being the Swedru Juvenile Correctional Centre, he said.

He said juveniles at the centre were uncomfortable as many of them slept on mats on the floor and were not provided three square meals a day, saying, this made their reformation process difficult.

He called on the Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, institutions responsible for the running of these centres to ensure they were fit for purpose and made to serve completely the reformation of juveniles.

Source: Ghana News Agency