The Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery has admonished Prison Officers to ensure a crime-free and secured society.

Additionally, the officers are expected to step-up their game to ensure that the prisons do not become the target of lawless individuals in the system.

This came to light at the graduation parade and commission of Officer Cadet intake 24 into the Senior Officer Corps of the Ghana Prisons Service held in Accra on March, 25, 2018 at the Ghana Prisons Training School.

According the Minister, the Service had made significant strides in transforming its operations by going beyond the safe keeping of inmates to the implementation of structured programmes to ensure their reformation, rehabilitation and proper reintegration into society after their discharge from prison.

To this end, Mr. Dery commended personnel for the improvement being made in the service and also reminded them of the critical role they play in ensuring public safety, law and order in the country.

“Being the only people who come into regular contact with prisoners, officers must continuously demonstrate the values of integrity, honesty and respect for human dignity, to serve as a positive influence in empowering the prisoners to aspire to more productive lifestyles on discharge” he stressed.

The Minister was delighted at the significant role of the Ghana Prisons Service within the region which has led to Ghana hosting the Permanent Secretariat of African Correctional Services (ACSA) – a continental organization consisting of heads of Correctional and Prisons Services in Africa – aimed at promoting cooperation among members, exchange of corrections and prisons in the criminal justice system.

The Interior Minister further revealed that government has given approval for the recruitment of one thousand (1,000) persons into the Ghana Prisons Service this year to augment the staff strength thereby lessening the pressure on staff currently in addition to reducing work related stress among the rank and file of the Service.

Mr. Dery added that government had initiated processes to address the challenges that had confronted the service over the years, including the provision of required logistics that would make the personnel of the service work well.

He said efforts were underway to upgrade the Prison Officers Training School with modern facilities and professional expertise to facilitate the training of skilled correctional officers.

A total of Forty officers consisting of thirty one males and nine females, drawn from various fields including social sciences, construction technology, accounting, education and health, graduated after successfully undergoing a rigorous nine-month training.

Aside the practical training at some selected prions, the officers also received training in Social Psychology, Penal Law, Reception Duties, Emergency and Serious Incident Management Financial Administration, Staff Duties, Management Training, Correctional Management among other lessons.

Awards were given to officers who excelled in various courses. The Sword of Honour went to Senior under Officer Gbeddy Theresa Senam as the Best All Round Officer Cadet, whilst Juo Crystal Kafui Asimenu, received the Best in Order of Merit and was awarded with the Academic Cane.