[ 2017-11-09 ]
Visitors pay GHc2 to see prisoners
Prison authorities at the Kumasi Central Prisons
are taking GHc2 from each person who comes to
visit an inmate in the facility, without issuing
receipts to cover the fee, the Chronicle can
This conduct is in contravention of section 38 of
the Prisons Service Act 1972, (NRCD 46), which
does not prescribed payment of fees by visitors to
The said Act reads:
1.Every prisoner under sentence of imprisonment
shall be entitled, once in every two weeks, to
receive a visit from friends or relatives in the
presence of a prison officer.
2.A prisoner under sentence of imprisonment, may
in exceptional circumstances, be granted
permission by the officer in charge of the prison
to receive a visit from friends or relatives in
addition to the visit to which he or she is
entitled under subsection (1).
3.Every prisoner not under sentence of
imprisonment shall be allowed all reasonable
opportunities daily of receiving visits from
friends or relatives.
4.Every prisoner shall be allowed all reasonable
opportunities of receiving visits from his legal
5.If a prisoner who is seriously ill wishes to be
visited by any friends or relatives, a medical
officer may give an order in writing for the
admission of such friends or relatives if he
considers it advisable.
Las Friday, when this reporter went to the said
facility for the ‘Justice for All Programme,’
uncountable number of visitors who came to the
facility to visit some of the inmates were asked
to fill the visitors’ pass, after which a prison
officer, was seen supervising the illegal exercise
of collecting the money from the visitors.
This happened at the forecourt of the PRO’s
The Chronicle observed that, the visitor’s form,
which was half of an A4 sheet, was halfway filled,
with the name of the Assistant Superintendent of
Prisons (ASP) R.O. Bonsu, as the officer who
appended his signature on it.
The prisons officer was seen collecting the money
and keeping it in a red file.
It was established that visitors were asked
questions like how they relate to the inmate, what
items were bringing to them, as the security
officer filled the visitors’ pass.
The Chronicle noticed that, all the visitors were
ordered to thumb print.
Speaking to one of the visitors (name withheld),
after visiting her brother in the facility, she
told the Chronicle that she has been paying GHc2
ever since her brother was thrown into jail for
the past eight months.
Approached by the Chronicle, the Public Relations
Officer (PRO) of the Kumasi Central Prisons, ASP
Richard M. Bukari, confirmed that indeed they have
been taking GHc2 from visitors, after they had
filled the visitors’ pass.
According to him, they are not the only prison
facility that takes money from visitors, and that
is done everywhere in Ghana.
Asked about why authorities do not issue receipts
to visitors upon taking money from them, the PRO
replied that they give back the pass to them,
which serves as a receipt.
Source - The Chronicle
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