A Human Rights Activist, Francis- Xavier Sosu is advocating for prisoners in Ghana to be released to decongest and curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country.

According to him, the 44 prison stations in the country meant for 9,945 inmates now houses 15,203 people making the prisons 52.87% overpopulated and the spread of the virus in such conditions is easy.

“The Nsawam prison for instance currently houses over 3,500 inmates although it was originally built for about 900 inmates.

“Every single cell contains an average of 44 inmates instead of 20. During sleeping hours, the inmates are arranged in a ‘canned sardine’ way,” he told Myjoyonline.com.

He then cited Iran’s example where 54,000 prisoners were temporarily released from crowded jails on March 3, as part of the government’s effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Although President Akufo-Addo in a televised address on Sunday, issued some preventive measures that must be practiced across the country, Mr Sosu observed that those are not being implemented at the prisons.

“This puts inmates at serious risk of the pandemic.  The prison clinic is poorly resourced to even manage or quarantine a suspected condition,” he added.

The Activists further asked for the criminal code of the country to be reviewed to meet the international benchmarks which permit minor offenders to perform community and other social services.

He indicated that the current situation, however, puts financial burden on government since it funds prisoners “whose economic and other contribution to the state is zero.”