The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has adopted the Senior Correctional Centers in Accra.
The Boys Senior Correctional Center (formerly known as the Ghana Borstal Institute) at Roman Ridge and the Girls Senior Correctional Center at Osu were adopted as part of CDD-Ghana’s 20th anniversary.
The initiative is part of the Center’s efforts to advocate for necessary reforms in juvenile justice while supporting the material needs of the correctional centres.
As part of the Easter celebrations, CDD-Ghana donated food items, toiletries and cash to support the upkeep of the wards.
Presenting the items to the correctional centres, Prof H.K Prempeh, Executive Director of CDD-Ghana reiterated the Center’s commitment to helping create awareness and lead a national conversation on effective protection and promotion of the fundamental human rights of the young offenders.
Prior to the donation, the Center held a round table discussion with relevant stakeholders of the country’s juvenile justice system to discuss and collectively proffer solutions to the challenges facing the system.
These correctional centres are consistently faced with extremely low budget allocation, poor training facilities, outdated equipment, and other resource constraints.
They also lack stationed physicians and clinical psychologists. As a result, the centres rely heavily on the support of religious groups for basic needs, logistical and even infrastructure support.
These accounts, in part, for the difficulties associated with reintegrating the youth offenders back into society and the hardships and disillusionment the youth face which can fuel recidivism.
It is also the case that most young people in conflict with the law often chose to go to adult prisons by providing false information about their age mainly because of a shorter sentence and the distance they have to travel to the only two centres based in Accra.
This creates more danger for repeat offending and less likelihood of successful reintegration into society.
CDD-Ghana is hopeful, in the context of Ghana’s youth bulge and increase in the number of youth in conflict with the law, that continuous advocacy for reforms in the juvenile justice system will help better reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate young offenders into society.