The Member of Parliament for Madina, Lawyer Francis Xavier Kojo Sosu, has initiated a new bill in parliament to amend the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) to introduce Community Service and the Bond of Good Behaviour.
The bill seeks to be an alternative to the traditional custodial sentences and fines for petty crimes generally referred to as misdemeanors.
Speaking to Nayankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5 FM, the lawyer revealed that Speaker Alban Bagbin admitted the bill before the House went into recess.
He stated that community sentencing are granted by courts when they believe they will be more productive than a prison sentence.
He stated that when executed, community sentencing will assist criminals in completing rehabilitative programmes or working in the community where they live.
He added that doing so will assist minimise congestion in our institutions.
According to the MP, community sentencing will assist punish offenders, improve offenders’ behaviour to prevent them from committing crimes again, and, most significantly, reconcile with the community and make peace with the victim of the crime.
He claimed that in the past punishment was repressive, allowing criminals to face heavy punishment.
However, we must transition from this type of punishment to more reformative or corrective approaches.
Today’s jails do not assist in the rehabilitation of prisoners. Several offenders go to prison and then return as hardened criminals. We also need a restorative strategy for criminals so that, as part of their punishment, they can reconcile with victims and communities. That is why community sentencing is such a fantastic notion.
“The community’s sentencing will and bonds of good behaviour will help reform and restore the offenders,” he emphasised.
He said he submitted the proposal on December 20, 2023, which was subsequently referred to the drafting department.
After that process, it would be gazetted, and the bill would be submitted for its first reading, and then the other processes, including stakeholder engagements, would follow until the final reading and passage.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal/Rainbowradioonline.com