1Francis Omane-Addo | 2David Ackah (PhD)
1Ghana Prison Service | 2Center for Excellent Training & Consultancy
The involvement of prisoners in the consumption of illicit drugs in the country’s prisons cannot be over-looked. Typically, drug users present significant health, safety and security challenges and risks and they are among the most disruptive groups in prison. It follows that, drug use is regarded as a serious problem which requires significant attention on a number of levels (UNODC, 2012) Given the serious health and social problems that can be attributed to illicit drug use in prisons, it is important that in-depth study is done to make information available to prison authorities, analyst, scholars, security experts and policy makers for further studies with the view of facilitating policy formulation and decision making. The study will focus on illicit drug use; its impacts on the prisoners and the prison management and security. It will also seek to examine these other important related factors, such as drug use and other risk behaviours in prison along with access to services. The research focuses on the meaning, perceptions, processes and the contexts of the illicit drug use and offers ways of understanding drug use patterns and related consequences and responses. The findings of the study will have application in the development of appropriate harm reduction policies and initiatives and targeted security practices. The study will also add to already existing knowledge on the consequences of illicit drug use by prison inmates and again establish whether the monitoring and control mechanisms in the prison settings are effective. Furthermore, it will provide a broad framework to inform the planning, implementation and management of drug treatment in prisons. One of the major focuses of the study is to promote useful knowledge for developing practical policies and effective interventions in response to drug use and drug problems in Ghana prisons and will further provide information for further studies and serves as a baseline for policy makers and other researchers.
Keywords: Advocacy for Decriminalization, Drug Use Policy