Koforidua prison : 17 inmates released under ''Justice for all programme''

By Wendy Amarteifio
Koforidua prison : 17 inmates released under Justice for all programme

Seventeen remand prison inmates at the Koforidua Central Prison, in the Eastern region have been discharged through the Justice for All programme.

The Justice For All Programme was introduced in 2007 as part of the justice delivery process to rid the prisons of overcrowding.

The inmates, most of whom have been on remand for a long period of time gained their freedom after the judges had applications accepted.

Briefing the media after the court sitting, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, said it was a record for the 17 inmates to be discharged.

He said out of the total 55 applications that were considered, 17 were discharged, two were convicted and imprisoned, 21 were granted bail, 10 application for bail were refused and five were stroke out.

He said some of the cases that were dealt with were murder cases, with a few cases of causing harm and narcotic drugs.

He mentioned that from October this year, the programme would be decentralized for judges in the regions to handle them, saying, they were in the process of finalizing the process for it to commence.

Justice Honyenuga commended government for taking over the funding of the Justice for All programme since the last financial year to this year.

He said in the 11-year history of the programme, they had to go cup in hand begging their foreign donors for funding, saying, it was a bit of relief for them now since it was now well-grounded and funded by the government.

Madam Emily Addo kyere from the Attorney Generals’ Department indicated the challenge they faced most of the times was that the dockets, which originated from the police stations were not forwarded to them on time for advice.

This she said mostly delayed the cases, adding that, the duration for investigations was also a cause of the delay.

She said the Justice for All programme had come to serve a genuine course since most of the remand inmates have genuine cases.

Benedict Bob Dery, Deputy Director of Prisons, Koforidua said they were excited that some inmates who had been in custody for a very long time have been genuinely freed, saying, this was going to decongest the prison in a way.

He said the programme had also given some of the inmates who have not been to court for a very long time the opportunity to meet the judges who have determined their fate.

He said the authorised capacity for the Koforidua prisons was 400, but currently had 738 inmates leading to overcrowding.
He said a programme like this was so helpful in reducing the pressure and tension in the yard.

Credit: GNA