Mr Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, Executive Director of Crime Check Foundation (CCF), has said more is needed to be done in the Criminal Justice System to address the needs of the poor.
He said “that is why petty offenders are given harsh sentences, but the rich usually loot and are not punished or given minimal sentences”.
Mr Kwarteng, who is also the Ambassador Extraordinaire of Ghana Prisons, said this to the Ghana News Agency in Akuse, where his Foundation facilitated the release of five inmates for various petty offences.
The release of the inmates was made possible with financial support from some Ghanaian philanthropists living abroad.
These inmates were sentenced to fines ranging from GH¢360.00 and GH¢1,800.00 or in default serve jail terms between five and 15 months.
From all indications, most of the inmates had to serve portions of their sentence before their release.
He said much as offenders of the law should not be hailed, these guys could serve the country better by desilting choked gutters and cleaning our streets.
“They can be engaged in the planting for food and jobs programme instead of giving each of them harsh jail terms for these petty offences,” he said.
He said some of them were jailed for stealing eight tubers of yam from the farm of an employer, who refused to pay them their monthly salary.
Others were also jailed for stealing fowls and goats. Another was also jailed because his car owner said he was responsible for his car’s broken engine.