Support correctional centres in Juvenile Justice Delivery

By
Jesse Owusu Ampah, GNA

Accra, Dec. 11, GNA
– Mr Bright Kweku Appiah, Executive Director of Child Rights International, has
called on government to support Juvenile Correctional Centres in the country to
ensure the smooth running of juvenile justice.

Mr Appiah said the
few correctional centres left in the country were virtually being turned into
vocational and technical institutions.

The Executive
Director made the remarks at a News briefing on “The State of the Ghanaian
Juvenile System” in Accra.

He said, the
government in 1983 attached vocational schools to correctional centres to train
juveniles and provide space for them to be reformed without keeping them in
adult prisons.

Mr Appiah said the
current state, where centres were virtually turned to vocational centres needed
to be curbed.

“The children for
whom these centres were made are not enjoying the benefits of the centres,
which are rather now enjoyed by other members of the public,” he said.

He called on the
government to revive the collapsed centres in the to make juvenile justice
system more effective than it was now.

He said lack of
support for the centres led to the collapse of a number of them, including; the
Koforidua, Kumasi, and Cape Coast Juvenile Centres, adding that “the few
centres left such as the Girls Juvenile Correctional Centres and the Swedru
Correctional Centre were now assumed the role of vocational centres instead of
Juvenile Correctional Centres.”

Mr Appiah said,
currently, there were just three centres in the country, two in Accra and one
in Swredru in the Central Region.

“Among the three,
the two in Accra are the Junior Juvenile Correctional Centre at Osu and the
Senior Juvenile Corrrectional Centre at Dzowulu, and the third one being the
Swedru Juvenile Correctional Centre,” he said.

He said juveniles at
the centre were uncomfortable as many of them slept on mats on the floor and
were not provided three square meals a day, saying, this made their reformation
process difficult.

He called on the
Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection,
institutions responsible for the running of these centres to ensure they were
fit for purpose and made to serve completely the reformation of juveniles.

GNA

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