Eight hundred and thirty remand prisoners were discharged between 2007 and 2019 under the Justice for All Programme.
This figure represents 18.72 percent of the 4,435 remand prisoners who appeared before the court sittings which were held in the Akuse Male Prisons, Sekondi Central Prison and the Koforidua Local Prisons.
Ghana Prisons Service records show that 1,571 prisoners were granted bail while 171 of them were convicted. With the remaining 1,863 cases, many were dismissed while a few others were also referred to the psychiatric hospital.
The Justice for All Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, introduced in Ghana in 2007 to help promote access to justice and for speedy trial of cases of remand prisoners.
Remand prisoners are inmates whose cases have not been determined by the law court. They have not been convicted and are therefore awaiting the courts to determine their fate by either acquittal or imprisonment.
In Ghana, most of these prisoners are delayed justice as a result of that most of them spend many years in prisons without trial.
According to the criminal records section of the Ghana Prisons Service, as of May 2011, the remand prisoner population in the country’s prisons stood at 4,565, amounting to about 30 percent of the total prison population of 14,552.
The situation does not only cause congestion in the various prisons but also overburdens the Service which is essentially designed to meet the needs of those sentenced rather than remand prisoners.