Inmates at the Kumasi Central Prisons have been living by miracle, Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service (ASP), Richard Bukari, has said.
Describing their conditions as appalling, Mr. Bukari bemoaned the daily feeding rations given them for the upkeep of the inmates.
According to him, the daily stipend of 1.80 pesewas per inmate was totally inadequate for them to get healthy or nutritious foods, adding they are living by the Grace of God.
ASP Bukari noted that the conditions at the prisons were not what something good could be said about.
Apart from the health and feeding challenges, he noted that the authorities were also battling with the unending issue of congestion as the over 1,600 inmates have been piled up in cells like sardines.
Stressing on the huge numbers at the main central prisons, the PRO said instead of the 450 inmates the facility was built to take, authorities however had no choice than to cope with the current 1,600 inmates even though the stress level was so much.
Ashanti Regional Prisons PRO, who was speaking with Oheneba Nana Asiedu of Silver FM therefore, attributed the frequent outbreak of communicable diseases at the cells to the over congestion, adding that many have contracted diseases that hitherto their incarceration were known to have.
Reacting to allegations by an inmate who spoke to an undercover journalist in Kumasi about some extortions at the facility, the PRO denied that the prison authorities have levied each inmate a hundred (100) Ghana cedis to repair some broken things at the prison.
According to him, the prison authorities are well aware of the difficult conditions the inmates were facing and will not compound their sorry state by levying them.
He stressed the Prison Service was more focused in helping the inmates to reform and also learn a trade or write their Basic or Senior High School Certificate Exams while serving their term than any other thing.
Story: James Appiakorang Jnr.