Six inmates of the James Camp Prison in Accra have been equipped with barbering skills to enable them become economically self-supporting after serving their prison terms.
The training was made possible through a collaboration between the James Town Prison and Barber's Academy, a barbering school, and coordinated by the Ghana Association of Barbers and the Barber Salon Owners (GABBSO).
Eleven inmates who had expressed interest in barbering were enrolled onto the training programme for a period of three months.
At the end of the training, six out of them had mastered the art.
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At a graduation ceremony held for the six successful trainees in Accra yesterday, each of them was awarded a certificate by the GABBSO.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Commanding Officer of the James Camp Prison, Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Mrs Patience Baffoe-Bonnie, stated that the training was in line with the prison’s agenda to reform its inmates by inculcating in them a sense of professionalism.
She said although the prison had other long-term vocational training programmes such as carpentry and tailoring, it decided to venture into short-term initiatives that would transform the trainees into professionals when they left the prison.
“We have been employed to change lives and that demands that at every point in time we adopt a strategy to enable us to execute our mandate,” she said.
Later in an interview, DDP Baffoe-Bonnie said plans were underway to establish a barbering salon in front of the prison to offer practical training to the inmates and also serve as a source of revenue generation for the prison.
As part of efforts to boost its internally generated funds, she said, her outfit, through its strategic plans for the year, had decided to venture into organic farming to produce vegetables for sale.
The Chief Executive Officer of Barbers Academy, Mr Iddrisu Abdul Razak, expressed delight at the performance of the trainees and said the training would be extended to other convicts.
After demonstrating their skills to the gathering, the inmates expressed appreciation to DDP Baffoe-Bonnie and GABBSO for the opportunity offered them and appealed to them to explore support in the form of tools to enable them to establish their businesses when they left the prison.