Published February 25, 2019
At the end of the “Managing Violent Extremists in Prisons’’ course, we engaged one of the Ghanaian participants who had previously attended training in 2016. He works with the Ghana Prisons Service as a Welfare and Operations Officer and he was happy to share his experience with the RTC community. Enjoy the read!
I am a Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (DSP) and I have been with the Prisons Service for the past twenty-seven (27) years. The first course I attended at the RTC was an Offender Classification workshop for Prison officers. I am delighted be back to review a similar subject matter. The Workshop was a great boost in my career as it gave an in-depth knowledge and understanding about the concept of classifying offenders. Previously, I understood the concept as simply grouping men, women and juveniles in different cells. After the course, I understood the concept of classification as a system of assessing the risk inmates present, their needs and the kind of environment that is best suited for them. This has helped reduce the rate at which inmates are corrupted by hardened criminals.
When I returned to my station, I shared the knowledge with my superiors and subordinates. As a result, we have been able to design appropriate rehabilitation programs for our inmates. Most of the prison inmates, especially first-time offenders, left the prison yard with some skilled labor in “kente”, smock (traditional fabric) weaving and rabbit rearing. Others have also benefited from the adult education program and other forms of informal education.
Though there has been several positive changes in the classification process and the rehabilitation program, we still face some administrative and technical challenges. We would like to call on the government’s leadership to provide the needed support to assist with the rehabilitation program.
Finally, I want to suggest that more Prison officers be given the opportunity to partake in courses in offender classification and managing violent extremism in prisons.
Thank you for sharing your success with the RTC. Reach out to the RTC today and share your experience with us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be reached via our Twitter and Facebook handle: @WestAfricaRTC.