The Church of Pentecost has built an Inmates Skills Acquisition and Reformation Centre at Nsawam in the Eastern Region of Ghana as a move to reform prisoners to become useful and integrate them into society.
The 320 capacity fully-furnished facility, which was handed over to the Ghana Prisons Service at a ceremony at Ahodwo in the Nsawam-Adoagyire Municipality today Saturday, October 22, 2022, has four dormitories, an infirmary, a visitors lounge with a shop, a fully furnished administration block with auxiliary offices, an ICT lab with computers and accessories, a tailoring workshop, a carpentry workshop, a chapel fully furnished with musical instruments, baptistry, kitchen with a dining hall, soccer pitch, and volleyball pitch, CCTV Installations, and other facilities.
The Nsawam Prison Reformation Centre is the second to be built by the church, after constructing a similar one at Ejura in the Ashanti Region in May 2021. The construction of the all-male correctional centre began two years ago. The project was supervised by the Projects Development and Estate Department of The Church of Pentecost General Headquarters. Currently, two of such facilities are at various stages of completion at Damongo and Obuasi in the Savannah and Ashanti regions, respectively.
Commissioning the facility, the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, highly commended The Church of Pentecost and the Chairman of the Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, for his sterling leadership.
“I can say with confidence that the commissioning of this prison facility is the high point of my working visit to the Eastern Region,” he said.
He added: “The Church of Pentecost is demonstrating exceptional leadership in its desire to develop this country through social intervention projects such as the reformation and congestion of the prisons.”
According to the President, this collaboration between the church and the government was also seen at the height of COVID-19 when the church donated its facility at Gomoa Feteh to Government as a holding centre for Covid patients.
“It shows the commitment of this church towards contributing to the development of this nation. All Ghanaians should join me to say, Ayekoo to the Church,” he stated.
In his address, the Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, said “as Christians, we believe we must not only lead and usher people to Heaven but also show interest in their livelihoods here on earth by making them useful to society. It is for this reason that together with the Ghana Prisons Service, this facility has been christened, “Inmates Skills Acquisition and Reformation Centre.”
According to him, overcrowding is one key contributing factor to poor prison conditions in Ghana and other parts of the world, disclosing that, as of October 2022, there was a total of 14,957 inmates in Ghana’s prisons, as against the maximum capacity of 9,850.
He further disclosed that the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons which was built to hold a total of 850 prisoners, is currently holding 3,187 prisoners, representing over 275% above the required capacity.
“Being aware of this reality, The Church of Pentecost took the initiative to partner the Ghana Prisons Service to decongest Ghanaian prisons and provide better living conditions for prison inmates,” Apostle Nyamekye stated.
The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost further stated that the Prison Reformation Centre is a direct response to the Bible’s admonishing in Hebrews 13:3 which states: “Continue to remember those in prison, as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated, as if you yourselves were suffering.”
Apostle Nyamekye hinted that the Ejura Prison Camp project constructed last year by the church is already yielding some dividends. Currently, thirty-six (36) inmates, he noted, are being trained in different trades (Tailoring, Kente Weaving, Leatherworks, Carpentry, and Metalworks). A good number of the inmates, he added, have already been trained at the workshop and have since been discharged.
“Moreover, forty (40) inmates have been enrolled on a non-formal or literacy education which began in August this year. Many of the inmates are turning a new page in their lives by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour,” he expressed in joy.
The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost further stated that in a bid to further assist the Prisons Service to decongest the prisons, the Church beginning from this year, embarked on an annual release of some prisoners with default warrant, by paying for the fines owed.
This year, he said payment has been made for a total of 42 prisoners from the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, Nsawam Female Prison, Ho Central Prison, and the James Camp Prison. The Church, he added, intends to re-orientate these prisoners to fashion out the right attitude to civil life and assist them with the needed initial support to re-start life in order to be socially reintegrated in society, saying, “For us sinners are our clients.”
Apart from the prison facilities, The Church of Pentecost is also building police stations in some communities across the country to enhance security in those places, and also providing potable drinking water in some selected deprived communities in the country, among other initiatives. A Police Station and a 20-bed capacity health facility are also ready for commissioning at Kawampe and Abesewa in the Savannah and Ashanti regions respectively.