British High Commission holds Paralegal Training for Ghana Prisons Service

The British High Commission as part of an ongoing capacity building project has organised a Paralegal Training for the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS).

The four-day training workshop on paralegal skills and criminal law was held for 60 officers of the GPS.

A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra, which was copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the training highlights the British High Commission’s commitment to increasing support for an improved justice system in Ghana.

“The training aimed at equipping GPS personnel with relevant legal knowledge on local and international human rights laws; basic criminal law principles to enable participants understand ethical issues associated with paralegal duties and to enhance skills in taking instructions from prisoners regarding completion of criminal appeal documents,” it said.

The statement said drawn from various stations across the 43 prison estates in the country, 60 officers of the Ghana Prisons Service were trained in two batches.

It said Mr Edward Hand, UK Barrister from Axiom International Limited assisted by Madam Cynthia Nimo-Ampredu, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, trained the participants.

Mr Annup Vyas, Head of Political and Communications Team at the British High Commission, in his remarks at the end of the four day training programme said: “Congratulations, and thank you for your commitment to this course, to your service and to what you’ll continue to show in the coming years. The skills you have developed will stand you in good stead as defenders of the rule of law and human rights values.”

Mr Stephen Cofie, Director of Prisons in-charge of Administration and Finance, said: “The training has provided the requisite knowledge to be trainers of trainees and I charge participants to administer paralegal assistance to other officers in their stations’’.

The statement said as a follow-up to this course, the British High Commission in its bid to strengthen the UK-Ghana relationship, would subsequently fund human rights training for officers of the GPS.

It said Axiom International Ltd, UK and Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Ghana were the targeted trainers.

The British High Commission is currently implementing four projects to strengthen the institutional capacity and prisoner management of the GPS.

These include: Procurement of Medical Equipment to the Nsawam Prisons Medical Facility and establishment of an Electronic Case Management System for data management in all 43 prison estates in Ghana.

Others are delivery of Human Rights and Para-Legal Training to prison officers and refurbishment of facilities at the Ankaful Main Camp and Annex Prisons.