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Keywords:AN ASSESSMENT OF THE REHABILITATORY FUNCTION OF NIGERIAN PRISON SERVICE
The central thrust of this research is to assess the Rehabilitatory function of Nigeria prison using Makurdi prison. Prison have always been considered as rehabilitative and reformatory centre, However, in reality as a result of a number of factors this may not be completely successful as expected. It may become a breeding ground for criminals. This is the problem facing every society and Nigeria prison are not insulated from this problem. Against this backdrop this study attempts to empirically assess the rehabilitation in Nigeria prison with Makurdi (Medium security Prison ) as a case study. To achieve this sample size, of 20 prison officials and 80 inmates were selected through simple random sampling by the use of prison register. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through the use of questionnaire and interview method. Also the analysis of data was through the combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis. This result of the data analysis showed that the respondents varied in socio-demographic characteristics such as age, sex, marital status, educational qualification, religion offence committed etc. Further, the data showed that many of the inmates said that there is Rehabilitatory scheme such as carpentry work, electrical work ,shoe making etc. Through some opined that despite the existing scheme it was only meant for convicts and only awaiting trail inmates were excluded from t benefiting in such schemes. The data also showed that the few among the inmates who are convicts said that they would be better person on release and will enable them secure job either at formal or informal sector. Most of the inmates considered the prison as place of rehabilitation are inadequate, Also, the study showed that inadequate funding ,societal stigmatization, congestion, inadequate attention from government has contributed to the hitches of rehabilitation in Makurdi prison. Despite the aforementioned problems the prison still has been able to play the role of rehabilitation at a small measure. Finally, the study discovered that congestion of inmates, stigmatization of convicts by the society has been a big challenge to the institution, On the basis of the findings the study recommended that issues of prison rehabilitation and reformation must be taken seriously in other to achieve the set objectives of rehabilitation which the prison was established.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Definitions of Terms
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Functions and Objectives of Nigerian Prison System
2.2 Extent of Rehabilitation In Nigerian Prisons
2.3 The Living Condition Of Inmates In Makurdi Prison
2.4 Barriers To Rehabilitation In Nigerian Prisons
2.5 Solutions To The Problem of rehabilitation In Nigerian Prisons
2.6 Reforms of Nigerian Prison
2.7 Review of theories
2.8 Theoretical Frame work
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Area of Study
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sample size
3.5 Sampling technique
3.6 Instruments for Data Collection Procedure
3.7 Data collection procedure
3.8 Method of Data Analysis
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND DATA ANALYSIS
4.1 Presentation of personal characteristics of respondents
4.2 Analysis of research questions
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1.1 Background to the Study
Prison is an institution designed to securely house people who have been convicted of crime or are on awaiting trial. These individuals known as prisoners or inmates are kept in continuous custody on a short or long-term basis. Individuals who commit the most heinous crime are sent to prison for more years, the more serious the offence ,the longer the prison term imposed (Microsoft Encarta 2008).
Also according to McCorkle and Korn (1970)., Prison can be defined as a physical structures in a geographical location, where a number of people living under highly specialized condition utilize the resources and adjust to the alternatives presented to them by a unique kind of social environment.
A prison is seen as a total institution or a place of residence and work where a large number of like situated individuals are cut off from the wider society for appreciable period of time together lead and enforce formally administered round of life.
Adelola, (1982), opined that the physical appearance of prison is of tall wall supplanted with barbwires an iron gates antiquated buildings separated
Prisons from its larger community outside. These isolated structures according to him are meant to accomplish the confinement aspect. While confinement is made to detach the prisoners from his previous infectious groups, this new, environment is expected to provide the prisoner with particular opportunities of rethinking, stock taking and repentance from old ways.
Historically, this type of punishment for crime had been determined by economic and political relationship rather than by the public police or any Penological theory. In early English or German law, a system of adjusting wrongs and injuries existed. where by the offender was able to buy off the vengeance against him and his kin by compensation, fines, mutilation, banishment ,enslavement and death were other types of punishment for offenders, Long-term imprisonment was virtually unknown until modern times. In ancient Greece and Rome for example, Mamertine prison, constructed in Rome in the 17th century B.C, consisted of a vast network of dungeons under the cities main sewer (Morris 1978: 475). These subterranean laws held political dissident and criminals for periods of time in cramped, miserable conditions. However, the practice of confining wrong doers for long period as in form of punishment was not wide spread until after 15th century (Microsoft Encarta, 2010).
More so, imprisonment as a form of punishment of offenders was not known to many pre- colonial communities in African. There were traditional institutions in Nigeria that served as prison before British rule. For example, the ‘‘Evedo” of Edo group and “Ogboni” of Yoruba group houses respectively were all places for keeping those put away for some time while other forms existed among the Fulanis and Tivs (Akeredulo Ale 1979:156)
Rehabilitation according to oxford advanced learner’s dictionary means to help some body returned to a normal life or therapy.
Rehabilitation penology was said to have developed at the beginning of the 20th century in England (Carten and Cook,1989). It was more concern with the criminal than mere punishment. In other words, an individual sentencing was aimed at removing the causes of his criminal behavior (Tamerbraun 19780.
Prison goals as laid down in the Nigerian Prison training manual state that prison service establishment, are based on the custodial and rehabilitative roles of prison of prison institutions usually, the resettlements of discharging prisoners into purposeful, meaningful community life is the major role and aim of the Nigerian prison. Accordingly, prison education and vocational training programmes have been at the centre of the process adopted by the institutions in the realization of these goals. One hidden agenda of imprisonment has been to punish criminals for their crime and to deter offenders from committing crime. The way prisoners perceive the objectives of imprisonment, it is assumed will affect their responsiveness to prison rehabilitation programmes, especially vocational training. But up till date this continues to be the ideal picture of Nigerian prison and other prisons world wide.
According to Awake (2005), there are four reasons why law breakers are put in prison to punish the offender. To rehabilitate the criminal, teaching him or her to be law abiding and productive after release , to protect the society and prevent future crimes has been the ideal role of Nigeria prisons.
Although prison policy called for provision of legal, religions, educational , vocational, and social welfare services, Nigeria’s prison system as in most third world countries is grossly inadequate. There is no systematic classification of prisoners, so that young and the old, and suspects for minor offences most of whom are pretrial detainees and first time offenders incarcerated for extended periods and eventual release upon acquittal were inter-mixed with dangerous and deranged criminals or repeat offenders. This has worsened the role of Nigeria prison to rehabilitate inmates or prisoner effectively.
However, the extent to which Nigerian prison fulfils these roles may be doubtful in view of the nature of the treatment of the offenders and resources available to accomplish these roles of rehabilitating inmate in prison. Therefore, the major concern of this study is to carry out an assessment of the rehabilitative function of Nigeria prison to see whether Nigeria prison are accomplishing these set tasks of rehabilitation for which they were established using the Makurdi Medium Security Prison to determine to what extent it has successful in performing this function of rehabilitation and to proffer solutions.
1.2 Statement of research problem
One begins to wonder whether the Nigerian prison is performing these role of rehabilitation as a set objective considering the tremendous upsurge in the number of crimal activities such as: arm robbery, burglar, economic saboteur, drug pushing ,pipe-line vandalism, coup d’état and other dissident whose action threatens the social fabric of the nation.
Also over the year, the prison as rehablitatory institution has been subject of various studies. However, very little attention has been paid to how the system of government and other external factors affects positively or negatively on rehabilitation in prison in Nigeria. There is a growing concern among the Nigerian public that prisons are fast lo
Keywords: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE REHABILITATORY FUNCTION OF NIGERIAN PRISON SERVICE