Ghana CURE is a Chapter of International CURE. CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitations of Errants) is an International organization that seeks to reduce crime through the Reform of Criminal Justice System.
CURE began in San Antonio, Texas, USA in 1972 when a dozen citizens (families of prisoners and concerned individuals) went to the legislature in Austin, Texas, to work against the death penalty. In 1975, CURE formally organized with an annual convention and a constitution. It became a national organization in the United States and an International Organization in 2005.
CURE has been granted a Special Consultative Status from the United Nations
June 21-24, 2009 International CURE organized its 4th International Conference on Human Rights and Prison Reforms at the United Nation in Geneva, Switzerland in attendance of 20 countries representing all 5 continents.
In February 21- 24, 2011, Abuja (Nigeria) was the venue of the 5th International CURE World Conference with 25 countries from around the world. The 6th International CURE world Conference will be held in India, Asia 2013.
Besides the thirty five (35) chapters in the United State, national chapters have been established and started throughout the world, most notably in Africa with around 25 chapters, in Latina America and in Asia.
International CURE network for criminal justice reform now include around 90 countries. Ghana CURE International is part of international CURE networks.
The Ghana chapter of CURE, Ghana CURE, started after an international conference and two week training seminar workshop in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire, under the aegis of L’Ami Fidele and international CURE (USA) IN August 2007 (4-17).
Before the pitiful, inhumane, miserable and infernal conditions relating to the prisons and prisoners all over the world in general, International CURE (USA) formally made its representation in our continent for a Reform of the Criminal Justice System.
Aware of the necessity to unite in brotherhood so as to contribute efficiently to the reduction of crimes and concerned about the improvement of the prisoners living standard in Ghana Prisons, the citizens of all social sides volunteered to setup a charitable organization in accordance with the disposition of the Ghana state law relative to the associations to defend the objectives of International CURE all over the world.
Ghana CURE is non-political and non-governmental. As a humanitarian organization its members are all strictly volunteers.
Human Rights, Justice, Dignity, Fairness, Restoration, Rehabilitation, Reintegration.
Our mission is to work with families and friends of the prisoners and other concerned citizens from all social sides to advocate for a more constructive and restorative Criminal Justice System which surely lead to a meaningful and lasting outcome for all.
Ghana CURE seeks to lead the International CURE organization in areas of prime importance to the African communities. That includes some rehabilitation social development topics such as:
• Education and job training
• Physical and mental health
• Decent work
• Local agriculture empowerment
• Micro financing
• Restorative justice
• Participative decision-marking
• Respect for Human Right
• Gender equality
• Social inclusion
• Basic social protection floor.
To ensure that prisons are not used as punishment centres but they remain educational and training areas which give appropriate ways and means prisoners need to change their lives and serve in up rightness and dignity their families and their nations after their release from prisons.
From “Long walk to freedom” Nelson Mandela thinks that prisons are designed to break one spirit and destroy one resolve; CURE believe that prisons are only used for those who absolutely must be incarcerated as universally mentioned in some Human Right tools.
In spite of many effort made by our rulers, prisons’ conditions still become more and more a questionable issue in our countries. In Africa existing prison conditions generally show the same features. The case of Ghana is a living reference. As in many countries, economic and social poverty still remain key grounds that greatly affect the population and drive a large member of people into jail.
The Ghana prison facilities accommodate all varieties of persons. We may find men, women, old people, juveniles, persons from diverse social sides and foreigners. Most of detentions derive from stilling, fraud, assault, robbery, manslaughter, drug, murder, threat of death, rape, defilement, unlawful entry, causing harm and conspiracy.
In detention centres inmates’ living conditions are very harsh and many fatal cases are really lamentable and degrading. Which are strictly prohibited by the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights – Article 7.
Due to the lack of money and high rate of corruption, indigent inmates are faced with unfair justice. A large number of inmates had been jailed for many years without being of trial. Much of the prison population is held in buildings that are originally colonial. In addition, medical facilities are inadequate and in most case non-existent.
The issue of overcrowding equally remains more and more warring in Ghana prison – N’Sawam Medium Security prison, the most important prison of Ghana built to 1956 to accommodate 717 inmates now has over 4,000 inmates. The James Fort prison in Accra is almost 400 years old and was originally built for 200 slaves and yet it currently houses over 740 male and female prisoners.
Overcrowding is really a serious health risk for incarcerated persons. A prevalent of communicable and deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B & C, itch, cough, cholera, asthma and typhoid fever is recurrent, including the frequency of suffocation, assault between inmates themselves, homosexuality, lesbianism and sodomy in detention centres.
Besides, bedding, clothing and food worries for prisoners still persist and they are compelled to rely on their families or outside organization for additional necessities.
In view of all those realities in the prisons of our country, we must all pay heed and be aware of the living conditions of the prisoners regardless their current social status.
Although the Ghanaian government have committed its self to improve prisons’ conditions, many things must be done again in several field: Adequate sanitary conditions, nutritional food, drinking water, hygienic facilities, suitable clothing, adequate medical service and education including skills development.
To reach that objective, Ghana CURE believes that adequate and efficient measures must be taken by associations, national and international NGOs, churches, UN representations, diplomatic missions, prisoners families, prisoners friends to make credible prisoners rehabilitation and reintegration plan in Ghana.
Mr Kassi Djeinzou Augustin is the Founder, Executive Director of Ghana CURE International.
Board of Trustees
Mr Kassi Djeinzou Augustin
Miss Gbenyah Felicity
Mr Kwame Ayisah
Mr Koffi Kouame Saint-Pierre
Mr Akpably Koffi Djiffa
Mr kouame Affizi Joseph
Rev. Yacouba Fadiga
Board of Commissions
Mr Quansah Ignace Kofi
Mr Kparib Peter
Accra : Mr Kassi Djeinzou Augustin
Takoradi : Mr Assouan Emmanuel
Cape Coast: Rev. Oting Philip
Kumassi : Mr Valley Kpan Victor
Mr Samuel Odaï
Mrs Nathalie Yamb
Rev. Godson Oakley
Ghana CURE International is composed of all citizens endowed with good morality living in Ghana and all concerned citizens who aim to work for the well-being of the prisoners through the criminal justice system in Ghana.
Associations, National and International organizations which are concerned to advocate for the rehabilitation of the errands may freely become member of Ghana CURE International.
The organization naturally works with active members, members of honor and sympathizer or benefactor members.
Membership in the midst of Ghana CURE is opened to all citizens who whish to make contributions for the sake of the improvement of the prisoners conditions.
(You may find the Ghana CURE Membership Brochure in the Resources section of the Ghana CURE Website)