Ghana CURE International has naturally defined some programs to make its prison reform advocacy more credible. Thus to reach its goal and fulfil its mission, the Ghana chapter of CURE should come into force the following plans.

Capacity development
In the midst of Ghana CURE, capacity development remains a relevant tool for the improvement of the criminal justice system that’s an essential need for diverse reasons:

• Theorical training and practical activities should be applied to state rulers, magistrates, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, prison managers, prison officials prison guards and prisoners themselves on the uses of Human Rights tools so as to delete some gaps and shortcomings at every social sides and to improve degrading and inhumane prison condition.

• Workshops and sensilization on good implementation of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of prisoners must be extended to lawyers, prison reformers and criminal justice system actors.

Penal Reform advocacy
To reach a satisfactory outcome in the penal reform advocacy, Ghana CURE realizes to move towards many directions.

• Research, documentation and publication

• Public proximity’s campaigns through lawyers, judges, prison reform, advocate to awake public awareness.

• Medias: print brochure and newsletters, electronic brochure and newsletters, newspapers, radio and television programs translated in both foreign languages and national languages.

• Chieftaincy, community and parliamentary advocacy.

• Conference

• Round tables

Human Rights Monitoring and Assessment of prison conditions
Ghana is one of the African countries that is member of some international treaties on Human Right such as the (OPCAT), Optional Protocol for the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This disposition is one of the best compass of the Human Right advocacy. In abiding this international rule and working in collaboration with Ghanaian authorities that can help to reach Ghana CURE objectives in our country.

Besides prisons’ visiting’s with any kind of donations (rice , soap, bread, oil, tooth paste, shirt, sheet, medicine etc…. ) and prisoners’ families support, Ghana CURE has created Brochures and periodic Newsletters which have been issued to sensibilize people, prisoners’ families ,prisoners friends , prisons workers and prisoners themselves.

Since 2009, a Prisons’ Assessment has been implemented to well-know our country’s prisons realities so as to plan a genuine and adequate Prison Reform all over the incarceration centers (from Greater Accra to Upper East).

Grass root Justice Program
Here, in regard to our Prison Reforms’ struggle, Ghana CURE doesn’t underestime some helpful spots such as the communities’ group and the grass root associations in diverse localities of our country. Our goal is to involve them in the prison system and the prison reforms support. This program concerns:

• Family tracing

• Intervention at police station

• Visit to traditional, church, mosque leaders and individual in host communities of prisons.

• Regional and local counselling cells to enhance restorative justice practice efforts and settle or prevent disputes at the family and community levels.

• Victim – Offender mediation.

• Contact and link with prisoners in death row.

Rehabilitation, reintegration and other support services.
This part of our program is the most relevant. It is essentially applied to prisoners, ex-prisoners, vulnerable youth and women, children in prison with their mothers, juveniles who are in conflict with the law, old persons and helpless foreigners in prison. To this end Ghana CURE realizes to implement the following steps:

• Regular and official statistic publication on detention

• Fund program to fulfil rehabilitation and re-entry planning.

• Promotion of marketable job skills.

• Legal defence assistance for vulnerables and indignants and legal representation.

• New and adequate sanitary facilities to cope with over crowding.

• Adequate treatment for drug and alcohol addictions and those who are mentally ill instead of incarceration.

• Abolition of the death penalty and all forms of torture and cruel and inhumane treatment.

• Timely medical service for all inmates and prison staffs.

• Wholesome food, water for consumption and sane environment.

• Policy to promote sexual security for all prisoners.

• Policy to help incarcerated persons to keep in touch with families and friends through visitation, mail and telephones.

• Policy that extend voting rights to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons.

• Promotion of religious programs.

• Payment of fixes.

• Counselling.

• Celebration, sport, entertainments and other cultural activities in prisons.

• Policy to provide some needs in detention centres to improve prisoners and staff welfare.

Ghana CURE International network for criminal justice reform include:

• The Ghana Prison Service (GPS)

• The Ministry of Justice

• The Ministry of Interior

• The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

• The United Nations

• The Open Society Justice Initiative, New York

• The Embassy of France in Ghana

• The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), Geneva

• Penal Reform International

• World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), New York

• International Prisoners Aid Association, Virginia

• Mater Care International (MCI), Canada.   

Published on  27.12.2011