More remand prisoners discharged under Justice for All Programme
he “Justice for all Programme” an initiative by the Judicial Service to ensure people on remand for more than five years without trial were given a fair hearing by the courts, on Monday held a trial for the inmates of Nsawam Medium Security Prisons.
After the trial of 134 remand prisoners, 59 of them were discharged, 46 persons granted bail, 11 convicted, and nine applications were dismissed, while seven cases were referred for continuation.
The programme which began in 2007 with over 2,000 remanded prisoners in Nsawam Prisons alone, has succeeded in reducing the number to a little over 1,000 and also decongested the prison.
It is being undertaken in collaboration with the Judicial Service, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department and Centre for Human Rights and Civil Liberties (CHURCIL).
Mr Mohammed N.H. Ahmed, Legal and Project Assistant of CHURCIL speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Nsawam, announced efforts by the organisation to set up training centres to equip remand prisoners discharged from the prisons with employable skills to make them useful to society.
He explained that most discharged remand prisoners had little or no capital to start any business of their own and therefore were susceptible to fall prey to people who could easily lead them back to crime.
Mr Ahmed said the programme would put in place measures to track the remand prisoners discharged from time to time and ensure they received counseling services.
He said CHURCIL would continue to advocate for people who had not been tried within a reasonable time under the 1992 Constitution and make sure they were given fair trial.
Mr Ahmed said CHURCIL received the list of remanded prisoners without trial from the prisons and sent its team of paralegal personnel to interview those who had been shortlisted to obtain facts and prepare their motions for them.
He explained that CHURCIL would then forward the names of those shortlisted to the Police and the Attorney General’s Department to verify whether they qualified under the programme.
Mr Ahmed said after the verification, names of those who qualified under the programme would be sent to the Judicial Service for further verification after which a court would be set up to hear their cases.
http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2011/0 ... programme/