Several reports of unlawful practices that exit in prisons across the country reached the desk of Top FM. This subsequently led to an investigation into the matter by the team of Ghana Te Sen, Top FM current affairs programme.
It has been revealed that, all forms of trades are engaged in at the centres that seek to transform wrong doers in societies.
An ex-convict, who spent 13 years at the Nsawam prison spoke on the live show highlighting on some acts that take place at the prison.
Kwadwo James the ex-convict who spoke to Oheneba Boamah Bennie today (Monday) on Ghana Te Sen stated that, the prison which is supposed to be an institution of correction to individuals is now breeding criminals as some prison officers are engaged in the act themselves.
He said, the sale of mobile phones, weed and cocaine are all businesses that go on at the prisons with the major role players being the officers. They have turned the place for transformation and correction into a place of personal business, he said.
On the issue of phones, Mr Kwadwo James indicated that, the presence of phones at the prison began in 2009/2010 but was not well sustained because of the strict officer who were in charge. The stability of the phone business begun after the transfer of these officers, he said.
The new officers with ASP ranks were the dealers in the business. Mr Kwadwo James revealed that they allow the inmates keep their phones at a charge of GHC 10 per day but abruptly conduct an inspection to seize the phones. The seized phones he said are later re-sold to the inmates.
No one brings cocaine into the cells than the officers, Kwadwo stated.
According to him, the sergeants and the corporals are those searched before entering the cells but officers with higher ranks are left to enter in and out anytime and are the main engagers in the cocaine business.
When quizzed about cell with cocaine, he said all the blocks from the administration to the condemn block, the annex, from Block 1-5 among others all deal in cocaine.
The kitchen he said, is the “master in the business”. He revealed that, the head of the kitchen was transferred for dealing in cocaine but the suppliers are untouched.
I never set my eyes on cocaine until I got to prison, he confessed.
The ex-con showed that there were executives in the cell who helped in keeping sanity in the area.
These people he said ensured that, an inmate does not enjoy his full rights as a Ghanaian citizen.
The ranks include the cell leaders, cell polices and cell judges. The others are the cell advisors and the cell commandos.
The enforcement of 99 laws in the cell are the duties of the cell executives. A break of the law leads to punishment from the above mentioned executives after passing through them one after the other.
Homosexuals and privileges
Another shocking revelation was the presence of homosexuals in the cell.
These are people who enjoy more privileges than any other prisoner and are considered as the most powerful. Kwadwo James said they have leaders who engage in the act with them hence are protected by those, who are mainly members of the ‘Black Coats’.
NB: the black coats ensure all prisoners move back to their cells when the bell is rang.
Food items donated by some Christian bodies are kept in stores, shared and taken home in a gradual process by the officers.
That of the Muslim society differs as there will be chaos if none is left for them (Muslims), hence some few bags are left for them.
A family member who decides to visit an inmate must be ready to face humiliations from the officers, he added.
Another revelation was that, canned food items by visitors are quickly returned but are sold by the officers inside the cells.
Most prisoners never enjoy from the donations of the kind hearted Ghanaians, Kwadwo revealed passionately.
Transformational Agenda of prisons
Kwadwo James said on Ghana Te Sen that, none of the officers have ever advised the inmates to fulfill the agenda of prisons, which is to transform individuals who spend time there. All they do is to condone the evil acts in the place.
Some prisoners have rather taken it upon themselves to speak to their fellows to transform them before they are discharged.
He therefore stated that, the main vision of the prison environment has been non achievable.
Justice For All
The presidential pardon are granted to evil doers who have not repented but have the means to reach some officers.