Christmas has come early for a few inmates of the Sunyani Central Prisons as they have been freed under the Justice For All Programme.
In all 53 cases involving 52 Inmates were heard by three Judges in the latest visit of the Justice for All Programme to the Bono Regional Capital.
Of those going home, four were discharged while 20 were out on bail. Speaking to newsmen after the exercise, the Judge in charge of the Programme, Justice Clement Honyenuga said they intended to decentralize the Justice For All Programme to make it more effective.
Already, remand inmates, who accounted for 33 percent of the Prison Population, have reduced to about 13 percent thanks to the Justice for All Programme.
The Justice for All Programme has been going on for over a decade now. It basically seeks to help decongest Ghana’s Prisons through the speedy trial of long standing remand cases.
Since the Programme started many remand inmates have been freed or had their cases heard.
The percentage of remand inmates which stood at 33 percent at the start of the Programme in 2007 currently stands at about 13 percent, clear evidence that the Justice for All Prgramme is making a positive impact.
The latest visit of the Justice for All Programme to the Sunyani Central Prisons saw three Courts set up to hear 53 Cases involving 53 Suspects, with Justices John Bosco Nabrase, Patrick Baryeh and the In-charge of the Programme, Clement Honenyuga presiding.
The Cases heard ranged from Murder, Manslaughter, Rape to Narcotics and Fraud among others.
Briefing the Media about the outreach, Justice Honenyuga said out of the 53 cases heard, four were discharged, seven were convicted and imprisoned, 20 were granted bail, 20 applications were refused and two applications were struck out.
Justice Honenyuga noted that there is a misunderstanding about the bail process that is negatively affecting the Justice for All Programme.
Justice Honenyuga also announced that the Justice for All Programme will soon be decentralized to make it more effective.
The Second in Command of the Sunyani Central Prisons, ADP Peter Afari Mintah also said the Programme has been very helpful.
Story filed by John Sam-Arthur