The Senior Correctional Centre of the Ghana Prisons Service has appealed to the President to grant amnesty to a number of juvenile offenders to enable them observe the social distancing protocol in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant Chief Officer Mr Francis Agbomadzi, the Greater Accra Public Relations Officer, said the facility has a total of 266 juvenile offenders in custody and the number has made it difficult for them to observe the preventive measures.
Mr Agbomadzi said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
He said the country is not in ordinary times and since some of these juvenile offenders have learnt their lessons from their past experience it would be appropriate if the President could pardon them to create enough space.
Some of them have learnt lessons from their past experience due to the number of mechanisms being put in place and this has informed them on the need to avoid crime but to realize their potentials and focus on the future, he added.
He said with the benevolent donation of some groups and individuals, the Centre now has sanitizers, tissue towels, liquid soaps, Veronica buckets among others to ensure they practice the other precautionary measures but need social distancing also to give them a wholesome approach in the fight against the disease.
Mr Agbomadzi again appealed to government to increase the GHC 1.80 pesewas feeding per head to enable them feed the inmates properly.
He advised parents of juvenile offenders not to neglect them when they come into conflict with the law but rather show them love and support. He said that is important as the Juvenile Act 658 states that the parent or sibling had to accompany the offender from the court to the centers to help have effective communication with relatives to curtail criminal activities.
He appealed to philanthropist, corporate institutions and other well-meaning Ghanaians to come to their aid and provide the inmate with food items to boost their immune system to be able to fight the COVID -19 and also control the spread.