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True stories

  • about what really happened

A prison officer once said, “We don’t beat the prisoners in our prison. Just being here is their punishment!” Many prisons are very bad places to be in. The prisoners’ cells (rooms) have too many people living in them. There are no beds, so the prisoners have to sleep on the floor. Often the prisoners do not have enough food to eat. If they are ill, they may not have a doctor to see them. Worst of all, many suffer shame and are rejected by their families. That is the life that Agyei* from Ghana faced. “I was part of a gang of robbers who attacked a man and his family,” he says. “We killed the man. Then we stole money and goods from his house. But we were caught. The police put me in prison.”

In prison but free

While he was in prison, Agyei joined a group which studied the Bible every Tuesday. He says, “As we studied, I realised that God wants to forgive us. I asked God to forgive me for what I had done.” Agyei’s life was changed. He began to see things in a different way. He decided to tell the truth when he went to court. “My lawyer told me to lie and say I was not a part of the gang,” says Agyei. But when the judge asked him if he was one of the gang who did the killing and robbing, Agyei said “Yes.” He says, “For speaking the truth, I have to be in prison for five years and do very hard work. But I know God has forgiven me. I am in prison, but I am free from the guilt and shame of what I did.”
*Aygei is not his real name