Story By Enock Akonnor email@example.com
Traditional leaders of Kaase, a community within Asokwa Municipality have called for the immediate passage of the Community Service Sentencing (CSS) Bill into an Act.
Nana Kwame Owusu Ansah; Kontihene for the area has underscored that the CSS will succeed in addressing the litany of inadequacies characterising custodial sentence approach in Ghana.
Unlike the traditional practice (custodial sentence), engagement in community service by convicted offenders under the CSS will add up to the development of the country as wrongdoers are made to pay back to their communities.
He added that, it will be effective at reducing prison population and the quantum of money injected by government into welfare of inmates and the upkeep of prisons.
“Persons convicted of crimes that the Bill caters for can be pushed into farming as done in other countries and this will shoot up farm produce and ultimately boost the national revenue tapped from agriculture”, he said.
“In most advanced countries, prisoners are made to serve their country but that is not the case in Ghana. We feed them and spend so much money on them”, Nana Kwame Owusu Ansah indicated.
The traditional leader made these remarks at a community outreach program held by officials of Muslim Family Counseling Services (MFCS) at Kaase on Friday 24th June 2022.
It was organised through a collaboration with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Africa office.
Present at the event were Chief Imam for the area Abdul Wahab Abdul Mumin, Municipal Director for Social Welfare Dickson Frimpong, elected assemblyman Hon Akwasi Danso, traders, residents among others.
The assemblyman said in an interview on the sidelines that the passage of the Bill is long overdue, adding that it is high time Ghana made reviews on some aspects of justice delivery system.
The passage of CSS Bill into an Act he explained will hasten the progress of the country and save Ghana much money.
In his presentation, Tijani Mohammed (Programs Manager for MFCS) enlightened the audience on the aim of the CSS Bill, specific crimes that the when passed into law will cater for, offences excluded from the Community Service etc.
Crimes that the Bill will cover as indicated by him are;
- An offence with a punishment of not more than 3 years
- Misdemeanors, such as crimes listed in the criminal offences Act, 1960 (Act 29)
- Drunk driving
- Concealing the body of a child at birth either dead or alive
- Involvement in customary activities with the purpose of subjecting another to a form of ritual or customary servitude
- First time offenders
- Domestic violence case
- Indecent exposure among others.
He therefore called on the participants to add their voices for the passage of the Bill.