Credible information available to the Daily Heritage reveals that there is an acute shortage of weaponry at the armory of Awutu Camp Prisons in the Central Region and it is gravely impacting on the effective discharge of duties at the correctional centre.
The officers rely on only on gun to control the hundreds of inmates serving sentences at the camp for various offences.
Though the officers are aware of the implications of handling the convicts with no guns, they claim they are relying on their faith in God and what they described as ‘street psychology’ in taming the inmates from escaping from the camp.
The danger, however, is that the absence of enough sophisticated weapons to ensure law and order is a recipe for dangerous prison breaks that could claim the lives of the prison officers.
Some officers who spoke to the paper under strict condition of anonymity said the shortage of guns is a delicate issue at the camp, “but we are relying on God to help us handled the inmates peacefully to the end of their sentences.”
According to them, what has saved what would have been a serious crisis is that; most of the convicts are serving low sentences and that it would not be prudent for one to escape.
“We can, however, leave everything to chance and fate, anything could happen and we need to protect that lives to inmates and officers as well when the need arises,” they pointed out.
Checks by the paper reveal that the Awutu Camp since its construction has no fence making the facility vulnerable to external attacks.
Worryingly, a street lightening project which was supposed to provide illumination along the route leading to the camp has only brought about electricity poles which till now, have no bulbs attached to them.
“Anyone can strike an officer down, especially when using the stretch in the evening. It is not safe at all given that we are supposed to protect and ensure that inmates are safe,” they explained.
The officers said inadequate supply of vehicles; communication and other operational facilities are also greatly hampering the duties of personnel.
“If there is anything you need to bring to the camp, it is either you rely on the inmates to carry it or you use your own vehicle. It is really frustrating,” they lamented.
According to them, the camp is faced with dire logistical constraints which are hampering its operations, pointing out that “we are supposed to train the convicts to enable them become functional members of society, but, there are inadequate equipment and resources to do so.”
They appealed to investors to partner the camp to help develop large tracts of land for the prisons’ farms to enable them raise funds to pursue their programs.
Source: Daily Heritage
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