The Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) has received 500 mattresses as donation from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the United States of America Embassy in Ghana.

The donation which was launched in December, 2021 was part of a three-year project between UNODC and the Ghana Prisons Service in compliance of the Service with the Nelson Mandela Rules and an effort to improve the sleeping conditions of prisoners in prison facilities in the country.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of the Interior, Mrs. Adelaide Anno-Kumi, who addressed the presentation ceremony, said even though GPS is responsible for the safety and welfare of inmates and their reformation as well as rehabilitation, the Service is facing challenges thus unable to meet its responsibilities.

She stated that training workshops have been held for 100 selected Officers from various stations on the Nelson Mandela Rules, which comprises dynamic security curriculum development and prisoner classification under the project.

Mrs. Anno-Kumi explained that the 500 mattresses presented to the Service, will be distributed to the Sunyani Central Prison, Ankaful Maximum Security Prison, Nsawam Medium Security Prison and Kumasi Central Prison.

The Chief Director said very soon more stations will benefit from the supply of mattresses under the project. She commended the United States Embassy in Ghana and the UNODC for the timely intervention which would go a long way to improve the prison conditions in the country.

The Project Coordinator for UNODC, Mr. Andres Bascones-Fragezo called for collaboration with government, stakeholders and other organisations to help improve the living conditions of inmates in prisons in the country. He added that safe and secure prisons in line with human rights can only be achieved through a joint effort from stakeholders and individuals who play major role to attain it.

The Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr. Isaac Kofi Egyir, who received the donation on behalf of the GPS expressed his profound gratitude to the Embassy of the United States in Ghana and UNODC for the kind gesture and assured that the mattresses would be used for the intended purpose.