Prisons Service to commercialise projects
The Ghana Prisons Service is charting a new direction of commercialising its projects and retooling its workshops to contribute to the development of the country.
This new direction will help the service adopt and turn its every possible strength into a gain.
“We are commercialising and retooling all our workshops and also taking agriculture to the next level. It is about creativity and we are taking our bakery to the next step.
“Also, if we are able to get funding for mechanised agriculture, the Ghana Prisons Service can be a major contributor to the food basket of Ghana,” the Director-General of the service, Isaac Kofi Egyir, told the service’s regional commanders at their annual conference yesterday.
He said the service had the potential and human resource to contribute significantly to the food basket, but had not been able to fully unlock that potential due to financial constraints.
Being held on the theme: "Pursuing sustainable strategies to confront emerging challenges in the Ghana Prisons Service: The role of prison managers", the two-day Regional Commanders Conference is a platform for the officers to deliberate on the affairs of the service and develop sustainable strategies that will propel it into a great future.
The Commanders are discussing ways to enhance the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to ease the volume of paper work and also adopt ways to generate funds.
It is also aimed at assisting the commanders to fully appreciate current trends and become better managers as prisons commanders.
Mr Egyir said the government had, over the years, provided the service with the needed support for its agricultural expansion programme through the supply of tractors and other farming inputs.
He said the support had helped increase its agricultural production, which had over the years supplemented its ration requirements.
“It must be stated that the service is not performing badly in its agricultural production; however, there is more work to be done to consolidate the gains and further increase productivity,” he said.
He urged the commanders to effectively lead the charge in their jurisdictions, as that would serve as motivation to all who would be involved in this new direction the service wanted to adopt.
Mr Egyir also appealed to the public to patronise the products of the service to guarantee the success of those projects.
Building capacity, partnerships
On training and capacity building of its staff, he indicated that the service was rolling out programmes in that regard, as well as prioritising welfare and conditions of service.
Also, he said, the service was deepening cooperation with civil society and strategic international partners to help improve the effective execution of its mandate to ensure the safe custody, welfare and rehabilitation of inmates.
“Over the years, the government has made significant efforts in solving the manpower needs of the service and this has resulted in the massive recruitment of new officers over the past few years,” he added.
The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, called on the service to adopt measures that would make it more productive, self-sustaining and correction-oriented.
He said per the tenets of modern-day management of prisons and correctional facilities, the service must reform, strive for professionalism and also partner the private sector to enhance its delivery.
He expressed the hope that the service, through its innovative ways and the new direction it wanted to chart, would become an enviable and admirable security service within the criminal justice system.