Effctive of Counselling Services in Ghanaian Prisons
Submitted By blaqmoohr
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COUNSELLING SERVICES IN GHANAIAN PRISONS: A STUDY OF ANKAFUL AND SEKONDI PRISONS.
REV. FR. DUAH
Background of the Study Since ancient times till now, no clan or society has existed without crimes and offenses of some kind for which society inflicts punishments (Dobb, 1994). In pre-colonial Ghana, different traditional societies had their own various ways of meting out punishments, deterring and rehabilitating offenders and deviants. In these societies, the socialization of the people and sanctions meted out to offenders were both in accordance to the customs, values, belief systems and traditions of the people. Power and authority rested on the chiefs and traditional rulers as well as heads of clans and families to punish culprits of various offenses and offer rehabilitation services. According to The Library of Congress Country Studies (1994) there was no prison system in the traditional Ghanaian society in the colonial era and advent of western education and culture in Ghana. The Ghana Police Service was established and mandated to provide the security needs of the citizens by protecting lives and properties. The judiciary or law courts of Ghana were also given the mandate to provide fair trial and justice to offenders arranged before them and those found guilty were given various punishments ranging from fines to custodian sentences in jail to serve as a deterrent to others. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British council of merchants established a network of harsh prisons in forts such as Cape Coast Castle. By the early 1900s, British colonial officials administered the country’s prisons and employed Europeans to work as guards in the prisons. After World War II, Ghanaians gradually replace these individuals. By 1962, Ghanaians staffed all positions in the prison system. According to Ajagbe (1996), prisoners are seen as social misfits, outcasts and object of public ridicule. He further opined that the prison is set out to punish people who violate the criminal laws of the land by restricting their rehabilitation and reformation. According to Bohm and Haley (2005) the constitution of countries explicitly that prison inmates are supposed to go through some form of reformation before they end their incarcerations. Currently in Ghana, the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior perform an important role in the criminal justice administration. The Prisons Service is responsible for the maintenance of internal security by keeping prisoners in safe custody in Ghana, ensures the welfare of prisoners. Also ensures the reformation and rehabilitation or prisoners through treatment model adopted by counseling services.
The treatment model adopted counseling services for criminal involves changing prison inmates’ perception, beliefs modify their criminal behaviour. (Bohm & Haley 2005). Despite the major objective of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) to help in the rehabilitation and reformation of offenders to be law abiding through the treatment model adopted by counseling services. It is still disheartening to observe that many ex-convicts have re-offended and returned to prison. (Awolugutu, 2013). According to Micah (2009), the rate of recidivism had increased to 11.3 percent as at July 2007.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The rationale for jail sentence is to deter offenders and serve as a medium for rehabilitation and re-integration into society through the treatment model adopted by counseling services (Awolugutu 2013). Counseling services effectively delivered by a professional counselor in the prisons should transform the perception of inmates and modify their maladjusted behaviour (Gladding, 2004).
Despite the delivery of counseling services across all the prisons in Ghana, inmates finish their terms of sentence still unrefined or worst of than before (Awolugutu, 2013). If this assertion is true, then there is the need to evaluate the effectiveness of counseling services delivered in the prisons.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the counseling services delivered in Ghanaian Prisons and come out with strategies to improve counseling services in the prisons which would meet the needs of the inmates.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. How effective are the counseling services in addressing the needs of prison inmates? 2. What is the nature of counseling services rendered in the prisons? 3. What is the level of training and qualification of personnel who render the counseling service in prisons? 4. What are the modes of delivery of the counseling services and programmes in the prisons? 5. What are the available resources and logistics used in delivering counseling services in the prisons? 6. What are the existing challenges in delivering counseling services to inmates?
Significance of the study
The study will equip the Ghana Prisons Service to adopt the appropriate counseling programmes that will facilitate reformation and reintegration of the prisoners into society. It will enable the stakeholders of the Ghana Prisons Service to provide the standard facilities and administrative structure which will render the counseling services effective in the Ghanaian prisons. It will recommend modern counseling practices in the Prison Service to reduce recidivism.
The study shall be delimited to evaluating the counseling services in Ghanaian prisons. The study shall focus on the counselors and inmates of the Ankaful and Sekondi Main Prisons. It shall also focus on the rehabilitation and reformation of inmates in Ghanaian prisons.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Relevant conceptual literature and empirical framework shall be reviewed for the study. Conceptual literature shall be reviewed on * Needs of prison inmates. * Types and areas of counseling * Human rights and treatment of prisoners * Effective counseling process * The relevance of counseling to the needs of inmates * Challenges with the delivery of counseling services in the Ghanaian Prisons.
This chapter will explain how the study will be conducted. It includes the research design, the population, the sample and sampling procedures. It also will discuss the research instrument that will be used to collect data and the procedure for data collection as well as data analysis plan.
The research design for this study will be the descriptive survey. Fraenkel and Wallen (1996) described the descriptive survey as “research design that attempts to describe existing situation without actually analyzing relationship among variables” (p.18). According to Babbie and Mouton (2001), descriptive survey is useful for generalizing from a sample to a population so that influences can be made about the characteristics, attributes or behaviour of the population. The design is chosen because it has the advantages of producing a good amount of responses from a wide range of people. This will give a very meaningful conclusion for the study since the purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of counseling services in Ghanaian prisons.
The population will consist of inmates in the Ankaful Prison in Cape Coast Metropolis and Sekondi Main Prison in the Sekondi Municipality. Sectional heads and counselors will also be involved.
Sample and Sampling Procedure
The sample size for the study shall be 338. According to Krejcie and Morgan (1970), a population of 2886 requires a sample of 338 to ensure sample representativeness. Stratified sampling technique shall be used to sample respondents. According to Gravetter and Forzano (2006), stratified sampling technique is used when the population from which the sample is drawn is not homogeneous.
The instruments to be used will be questionnaire and interview. Questionnaire is simply a paper-sheet or few paper-sheets containing a number of questions typed and printed. These questions usually are very carefully drafted keeping in view the main object, nature and scope of the problem under investigation (Rao, 2008). The advantages of interview are that the interviewer can clarify any questions that are obscure and also ask the respondent to expand on answers that are particularly important or revealing (Fraenkel & Wallen, 1996).
Data Collection Procedure
An introductory letter will be obtained from the researcher’s department. The letter will spell out the purpose of the instrument, the need for individual participation, anonymity as well as confidentiality of respondents’ responses.
After getting permission from selected prisons, the questionnaires will be administered to the inmates, while the interview guide will be administered to the sectional heads and counselors. Collection of data will be done within a month.
Data Analysis Procedure
Data collected from respondents will be coded and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Service Solution (SPSS). The descriptive data will be presented using frequencies and percentages in the form of tables and figures.
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