The Hon. Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr. Henry Quartey on Thursday opened the Ghana Prisons Service 2019 Regional and Station Commanders conference in Accra.

The conference themed, “Making Prison Enterprises Thrive: the Role of Commanders” had commanders from all the regional and district stations in the country converging in Accra to take stock of their operations and to find ways of bridging funding gaps in order to attain the transformational goals set out in the ten (10) year strategic plan of the Service.

He noted that, despite the fact that the past few years have seen a significant improvement in the allocation of financial resources to the prisons service by government, the lack of logistics and poor infrastructure continued to remain a veritable challenge for the service.

The Deputy Minister commended the officers for diligently discharging their duties even with the challenges they faced.

Mr. Quartey assured that Government was working assiduously to bridge the gap between prison conditions in Ghana and the internationally acceptable standards by progressively resourcing the Prisons Service with adequate logistics, man power and prisons infrastructure.

He therefore appealed to Civil Society, corporate organisations and benevolent individuals/philanthropists to give a helping hand to accelerate the rate of prisons infrastructural development.

The Deputy Minister,

The Deputy Interior Minister took the opportunity to thank the British High Commission and the Dutch Embassy for funding various infrastructural projects in the prisons and in particular the British High Commission, for the supply of medical equipment to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison Clinic and the provision of an electronic database system for all the prisons in Ghana.

He equally thanked the United States and Russian Embassies for assisting in the capacity development of some prisons personnel.

On the local from, Mr. Quartey commended the Church of Pentecost for offering to help the Ghana Prisons Service construct five (5) model Camp Prisons which would contain modern facilities such as inmates’ dormitories, workshops, administration blocks, storage facilities, recreational facilities and churches in prime agricultural areas namely; Ejura, Hiawa, Kpando, Nsawam and Obuasi.

He has therefore  urged the Service and all commanders of agricultural stations to work relentlessly to improve agricultural production at their stations by taking advantage of governmental initiatives such as Planting for Food and Jobs and the recently launched Rearing for Food and Jobs to help in this regard.

“Regional Commanders have to step up their supervision of the farming stations to ensure farm inputs are put to purpose and proceeds strictly accounted for in line with the Financial and Accounting Regulations” he said.

“You are also encouraged to take advantage of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) Retention of Funds Act 2005 which allows the Prisons Service to retain 60 percent of all internally generated funds. If you work assiduously and rationalize proceeds from all commercial activities taking place in the prisons, I have no doubt that you will generate enough to support government subvention”. He further noted

The conference is an annual event the bring together Regional and Station Commanders from all the Prisons Facilities to take stock of their operations and to strategise for the next year.