The 'Justice for All Programme' (JFAP) under the Judicial Service has started a three-day sitting in prisons in the Northern Region to decongest the Tamale Prison.
The exercise, which begun in Tamale on Tuesday seeks to decongest the prisons by the setting up of a special in-prison courts to adjudicate on matters of remanded prisoners which are pending for trials and that of long adjournments either than the stipulated times under law.
The initiative of the JFAP is to ensure that poor and vulnerable prisoners who cannot access the services of lawyers resulting in long trial periods and adjournment of cases have access to justice leading to de-congestion in the various prisons in the country.
In all the JFAP received 32 applications for the in-prison court proceedings at the Tamale Central Prison of where three inmates were discharged, 21 were granted bails, whiles seven applications for bail were refused.
The JFAP would round-up its exercise at Salaga in the East Gonja Municipality and then heads to Navrongo in the Kassena Nankana East Municipality in the Upper East Region to hold similar sessions.
Justice Clement Honyenuga, Justice of the Court of Appeal and the Presiding Judge said through the JFAP programme, judgement has been pronounced in various cases in the bid to ensure de-congestion of prisons across the country.
He noted that, instances of murder cases were high and alarming across the country, saying "The JFAP has a criteria for granting bail or discharging inmates or persons charged with murder but have not been tried for three years or above".
He urged the public to be vigilant and guide themselves against acts of possession of cannabis, acts of defilement, murder, vandalizing state properties as well as engaging in armed robberies that could land them in prison.
ASP David Kwame Afatsawu, Public Relation Officer (PRO) for the Northern Regional Prison service expressed gratitude to the government, the office of the Attorney General, the POS Foundation-Civil Society and the Judiciary Service on efforts to help reduce overcrowding at the various prisons. GNA
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