September 16, 2019
 In Radicalization & Violent Extremism in Prisons

Country: Ghana
Delegate Name: Caterina DaSilva

Honorable delegates and esteemed chair, Ghana is deeply concerned about the issue of radicalization and violent extremism in prisons. As a country committed to upholding human rights and upholding peace, Ghana acknowledges the significance of measures prisons must take to change systems and create less hostile environments for prisoners to limit violent extremism. Having radicalized individuals undermines peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. Isolation, overcrowding and other poor prison conditions continue to push those incarcerated to create violent communities within the prison for a sort of power and protection. Ghana is a country with a low incarceration rate of 42, and nationwide has 13 thousand prisoners incarcerated. Currently, Ghana has an issue with overcrowding in prisons, and has a need for larger institutions, proper education, particularly since 70% of Ghana’s prisoners are in their early adult ages, and rehabilitation programs.

The issue of radicalization and violent extremism in prisons is a multi-faceted problem that requires a complex approach. Ghana’s prisons suffer from overcrowding, an average of 135% of prison overcrowding, even housing 4,000 inmates when it had been built to accommodate 700 people. Medical treatment, inadequate sanitary conditions, and funding in Ghana prisons are limited as well, the limit of meals for inmates is 1.80 of Ghanaian Cedi, which means not adequate nutrition or amount of food for prisoners. Without proper funding, staffing in Ghanaian prisons are scarce and harsh, showing abuse and mistreatment towards inmates. When care is not shown in these systems, inmates begin to riot, contributing to the growing violent extremism.

Ghana strongly believes that the UN should focus on institutions and change how overcrowding, inadequate funding, staffing, medical treatment, safety, and education affects those incarcerated. To promote human rights and improve prison conditions, which will in turn lower the rate of riots and violent inmates, Ghana will ensure that prisoners are treated humanely, providing effective rehabilitation programs that address the root causes of criminal behavior, which are specifically drug addiction and poverty, as well as programs that will promote education, social integration, and job training. Ensuring the safety and security of institutions across Ghana is also critical to prevent the spread of radicalization, and will implement effective security measures, preventing smuggling throughout the prisons. Ghana also recognizes that the issue of extremism in prisons is a global issue, and calls for greater international cooperation in the development of combined programs to address this problem. We are committed to working with the international community to ensure that prisons serve as a place for rehabilitation and not a breeding ground for violent extremism and radicalization.

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