Ranking Member on the Security Committee in Parliament, James Agalga has called on President Akufo-Addo to pardon 4,000 prisoners as part of measures to decongest our prisons in the face of the deadly coronavirus.
The legislator addressing the press Thursday stated that Ghana prisons are choked hence the need for the president to consider pardoning more to decongest the facilities.
In an interview with the Parliamentary Press Corps, he revealed that the current number of inmates or prisoners across the country are about fourteen thousand (14,000) which in actual sense, it is was made for a capacity of eight thousand (8,000) prisoners.
He said it would be appropriate for the President to pardon about four thousand (4,000) prisoners to ease the pressure in our prisons else, it will be a disaster for this country if there should be any incident of coronavirus at any of our prisons.
The president has granted amnesty to some 80 prisoners.
The amnesty granted was upon the recommendation of the Prisons Service Council and in consultation with the Council of State.
The categories of convicts affected include first time offenders, seriously ill persons, inmates on death row to be commuted to life imprisonment, inmates serving a life sentence to have a sentence commuted to 20 years definite term and very old prisoners who are 70 years and above.
Director-General of the Prisons Service Patrick Darko Missah in a statement said the first time offenders totalling 783 who have served half of their sentences, eleven, seriously ill prisoners, and three aged (very old) prisoners are to be released outright. However, seven prisoners on death row would have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment; while four prisoners serving [a] life sentence will be commuted to 20 years definite term.”