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70 Remand Prisoners in Nsawam to Appear Before Justice for All Programs

About 70 remand prisoners at Nsawam Medium Security Prisons in Eastern Region are expected to appear before Justice for all Program today Friday, July 22, 2022.

The panel of judges will determine the date of these applicants to the program to either gain freedom or continue their incarceration.

Many of the applicants have been on remand for many years without trial.

Many remand prisoners and convicts with merit in their application have been released through the program.

Background of the Justice for All Programs

The Justice for All Programme (JFAP) is a State led intervention, established in 2007 to alleviate prison overcrowding by setting up Mobile In-prison Special Courts to adjudicate remand/Pre-trial prisoner cases throughout the country. This initiative enjoys the collective efforts of the Judicial Service of Ghana, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Ghana Prisons and Police Service, CHRAJ as well as POS Foundation (a Civil Society body that serves as facilitators).

Article 14(4) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that a person who is arrested or detained but has not received a trial within a ‘reasonable period’, is entitled to unconditional release or release subject to conditions necessary for reappearance for judicial proceedings. What constitutes a reasonable time is yet to be properly determined – and it is the absence of the codification of this rule that is greatly responsible for the excessive periods in which prisoners in Ghana are held without trial.

Congestion has forced prisoners to sleep in very dehumanizing positions in prison cells. It is common for as many as fifty-five (55) inmates to share a cell intended for twelve (12). In the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, Juan Mendez indicted Ghana on these deplorable conditions resulting from the overcrowding in our prisons which is below the United Nations Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules).

To heighten the issue of overcrowded prisons and lengthy pre-trial detention, sometimes detainees serve more time in detention awaiting trial than the actual sentence the crime requires.

Source: Mybrytnewsroom.com

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