No prison in Ghana has body scanners to detect contraband – Atsem

The Ghana Prisons Service may still be struggling to see a slump in violence and the use of drugs among inmates in the country’s correctional centres as the Service cannot boast of a single human scanner.

This was  revealed by CSP Courage Atsem, the Chief PRO of the Ghana Prisons Service while speaking to Prince Minkah on XYZ Tonight on Monday.

X-ray body scanners are essential to prisons because their instant internal images can reveal concealed weapons, mobile phones and drugs, but sadly Ghana has none in its overcrowded prisons.

“We don’t have a single scanner in our correctional centres to detect contraband,” Atsem shockingly disclosed.

This means inmates or their relatives can conceal contraband in food items and other gifts to their relatives when officers fail to run a through check on these items.

In 2020, UK procured X-ray body scanners and installed them in 16 of its the most challenging prisons in England and Wales.

Their installation at 10 other prisons in 2018 saw a drop in violence and the number of failed drug tests, according to BBC.

The £28m scheme was part of a £100m fund for improving prison security.

HMP Leeds governor Steve Robson said the installation of a body scanner at his jail about in 2019 had been “a real game changer”, as more than 300 items of contraband were detected, reports BBC.

The move obviously helped refine many inmates in England and Wales.

Correctional centres are known across the globe to refine offenders and integrate them into the society after serving their jail terms.

However, in Ghana, it the government will have a difficulty in achieving that hence the observation by many, including security analysts, that the country’s prisoners are rather hardened before serving jail terms.

CSP Atsem believes the government has a lot to do to improve the conditions of the country’s prisons especially the Nsawam Prison but sadly admits what happens in the prisons of the West cannot be replicated here.

“Our prisons can never be like the ones in the developed countries,” Atsem Added.

He does not know when there will be body scanners for the country’s prisons but hopes the country could have more prisons to decrease overcrowding that makes living in a Ghanaian prison hell for inmates.

He disclosed, “the government is making provisions for a remand centre in order to reduce overcrowding in various prisons.”

To him, life in the country’s prisons is not the best and needs attention immediate.


By Henryson Okrah||Ghana

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