Prisons to reject new convicts – Stephen Wengam

General News of Thursday, 18 June 2015


Rev Stephen Yenusom WengamRev. Stephen Wengam, Chairman of the Prisons Council

Prisons in the country will soon be turning away new convicts for lack of space, Chairman of the Prisons Council board Reverend Stephen Yenusom has noted.

According to him, conditions of the various prisons in the country are fast deteriorating and requires immediate national attention to put them back in shape.

“We are almost there, and we have to take that decision. If society doesn’t come to our aid, if government doesn’t come to our aid we are going to turn away prisoners one of these days,” Rev. Wengam told Kafui Dey on Morning Starr Thursday.

He also expressed concerns over the inability of the prisons in the country to classify inmates.

In his view, the practice is gradually turning the prisons into a university for learning higher crimes by criminals.

“Another challenge that we are saddled with is our inability to classify the inmates. Per the UN minimum standard rules, you are supposed to classify them. If someone indulges in petty crime you are supposed to put them in a particular place away from the hardened criminals.

“But again because they were not purpose built, we are compelled to put all of them together. So our prisons have become university for learning higher crimes,” he said.