In 1860 the Colonial Government established the Prisons Ordinance and was promulgated in 1876 which gave birth to the Prisons Department in the Gold Coast. In 1920 the first Inspector General of Prisons was appointed.
There was no prison system in traditional Ghanaian society. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British council of merchants established a network of harsh prisons in forts such as Cape Coast Castle. By 1850 four such prisons could hold up to 129 prisoners. Convicts usually worked on road gangs. The Prisons Ordinance of 1860 outlined regulations for the safekeeping of prisoners.
Later ordinances further defined the nature of the colony’s prison regimen, or “separate system,” which required solitary confinement by night, penal labour, and a minimum diet. By the early 1900s, British colonial officials administered the country’s prisons and employed Europeans to work as guards in prisons.
After World War II, Ghanaians gradually replaced these individuals. By 1962 Ghanaians staffed all positions in the prison system. Under Nkrumah’s regime, the government showed little concern for reform and modernization of the penal system. After Nkrumah’s overthrow, the National Liberation Council (NLC) authorized a civilian commission to investigate the prison system and to make recommendations for improvements.
The commission’s report, issued in 1968, revealed numerous problems. Of the country’s twenty-nine prisons, nine were judged unfit for human habitation, two were suitable only for police lockups, and thirteen were appropriate only for short-term detainment. Because of corruption and incompetence, however, the NLC failed to act upon the commission’s recommendations. As a result, prison conditions continued to be substandard, with poor ventilation, sanitation, and food preparation facilities.
Ghana Prisons Service Headquarters is located in Osu Castle, Greater Accra Region. This business is working in the following industry: Government agencies. Contact Ghana Prisons Service Headquarters Phone: 030 277 7830, Website: www.ghanaprisons.gov.gh
Ghana Prisons Service Contact Details:
Ghana Prisons Service,
P. O. Box 129,
233 0302 777 830
233 0302 777 052
233 0302 760 093
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