Hope for the Incarcerated

staff member and prison officer hold rabbits

SHI staff with an officer at the prison camp

Amanfrom Prison Camp is a minimum security prison for convicts who have less than a year to complete their sentences. Last September, we worked with Ghana Prison Service to train some of the inmates and officers at the Amanfrom Prison Camp on mushroom production and rabbit rearing to ensure inmates would have marketable skills to help them reintegrate into society after being released from prison.

“Many inmates have developed an interest in rabbit rearing and decided to create rabbit rearing businesses when released,” said Francis, the Chief Superintendent of the Ghana Prisons Service and the Officer-in-charge of the Amanfrom Prison Camp told Self-Help International staff.

After the training, we gave the camp three rabbits (one male and two females), to raise and breed so those trained get hands-on experience. We returned to the camp in June 2017 to monitor the progress of the animals and provided post-training technical support.  The camp now has a total of twenty-eight rabbits: ten males and eighteen females. Both prisoners and officers are eager to continue rearing rabbits, especially the officers like Francis who are close to the age of mandatory retirement and seeking future opportunities for self-employment.

rabbits in their hutch

rabbits in their hutch

Given the fast pace of rabbit reproduction, the camp lacks enough space to house them all, so we’re now working with the camp to help them construct labor saving hutches estimated to cost GHC 2,040 ($475 USD).

Since there are now so many rabbits, the officers will be able to give a few of them out as gifts to inmates upon their release so that they may establish their own rabbit rearing businesses. This gift will allow former inmates will remain engaged in a productive activity that will generate income and allow them to care for their families.

Rabbits also serve not only as a business opportunity, but also an opportunity to improve diets. The rabbits generally improve health and lower medication costs. “We are grateful to Self-Help International for opening our eyes to this project. It will help improve the protein content and quality of meals served at our prison,” Francis added.  

Self-Help Ghana staff and the Ghana Prison Service are thankful to the donors who helped in restoring hope to the poor and the marginalized in their society.