One Hundred and Twenty Five (125) prisoners serving varied jail terms in Prison Facilities in the Brong-Ahafo Region have been released last week Friday, following an amnesty granted them by the President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama.
The move was part of the efforts to decongest the prisons and bring relief to the Prisons Service and the Prison inmates.
Article 72 (1) of the 1992 constitution states that the President may, acting in consultation with the council of state grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions.
Speaking in an interview with banewsgh.com, the Prisons Service P.R.O, A.S.P Ziniel B. Vincent confirmed the exercise and indicated that, 28 prisoners were released from the Central Prisons, 51 from Kenyasi, 29 from Duayaw Nkwanta and 17 from Yeji.
According to the P.R.O, the internal Amnesty Board did thorough background checks of the records of the inmates to determine who qualified to benefit from the pardon and submitted a recommendation to the President.
He explained that, inmates who qualified to benefit from an amnesty by law include first time offenders, old age above 70 years, nursing mothers, sick inmates, prisoners on death row who have at least served 10 years and have had their sentences commuted to life, and those serving life sentences and have served at least 10 years and have their sentences commuted to a definite term of 20 years.
According to him, their fingerprints were taken by the police for identification before they were finally set free.
A.S.P Ziniel admonished the beneficiaries to go into the society as reformed people and demonstrate good behaviour and also appealed to the people to accept them in order not to become nuisance to the society.
One of the inmates who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, expressed gratitude to the President and the Prisons Service for the privilege and promised to be of good behaviour when they go back into the society.