An Appraisal Of The Nigerian Correctional Service: The Need For Reform

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

An Appraisal Of The Nigerian Correctional Service: The Need For Reform


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine examine the Nigerian correctional service: the need for reform using Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos as case study. The study was specifically carried out to understand the different roles the Nigeria Prison Service plays in ensuring prisoners rehabilitation, examine the influence of rehabilitation on prisoners, and investigate the various forms of rehabilitation works going on in the prison. The population size comprise of Prison warders in Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 57 respondents and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses were tested using Pearson correlation statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that the different roles the Nigeria Prison Service plays in ensuring prisoners rehabilitation includes: reforming the prisoners to be better than what they were before prisonization. rehabilitate the prisoners in order to equip them with new skills or improve on their old ones, and seclude criminals from the rest of the society, pending when they have atoned for their sins. The study also revealed that there is a significant relationship between rehabilitation works and prisoners’ behaviour. Therefore, it is recommended that designing of skills training should be made to satisfy the aspiration of most inmates. Limiting the training facilities to carpentry, bricklaying, barbing etc. may not lead to successful rehabilitation. More crafts and vocational skills, including computer operation should be included in the prisons vocational curriculum in order to provide opportunity for those that still aspire for higher educational qualifications and to boost the esteem of the prisoners when they are released. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Prisons are public institutions founded by government for the restoration and transformation of persons found guilty or break the law of the land. Prison is seen as a physical structure located at a particular geographical area which bears a one of a kind sort of social environment that is not the same as the larger society where individuals live as per specific conditions (Mc Corkle L, Korn R 1954). Everywhere throughout the world, prisons are built up to fill in as rehabilitation and reformatory establishments with a definitive objective of re-orientating and improving prisoners, so they could come out as useful citizenry (Okeke T 2010). This establishment was set up to help criminal justice system in which criminal offenses are confined pending the final conviction decision is taken to decide the guilt or innocence of the accused individual. Subsequently, incarceration in the event of being found guilty is implemented. Individuals who have been charged or sentenced for one criminal offense or more are required to get re-oriented and turn out to be better to live in the general public when they leave the prison (Okeke T 2010).

The Nigerian Prison Services (NPS) is an imperative Department of the Federal Ministry of Interior and is being controlled by a Comptroller-General of prisons. The Nigerian Prisons Service is regulated by the Custom, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (hereinafter) alluded to as the (C.I.P.B) situated at Gwagwalada in Abuja. It was built up by the CIPB Decree No. 14 of July 11, 1986 and introduced by Col. John N. Shagaya, the then Honorable Minister of Internal Affairs, presently known as Ministry of Interior (and Chairman of the CIPB) on October seventeenth 1986. Be that as it may, directly from the beginning of the board, there is by all accounts obvious disappointment among officials and men of the Nigeria Prisons Services because of instances of prison congestion, inadequate financing of jail, defect on the extant prison laws, and absence of rehabilitative and correctional gear in the Nigeria Prison.

There is more to imprisonment than opening and closing of prison gates. Modern penal management techniques emphasized reform of the inmates or the convicts. The current attitude in penal circles is to see improvement from the perspective of reform and rehabilitation rather than from the perspective of punishment. It is assumed that those who have committed crimes need help, and should be assisted to lead a good life. This view is predicated upon the understanding that those who have fallen foul of the collective norms and laws of the society expressed in criminal laws should be reformed; that is why the term correction is applied to reflect this thinking, argues (Ostreicher, 2003).
Incontrovertibly the administration of inmates in the Nigeria prisons is very out dated. For example, each day, prison directors register inmate name on a blackboard positioned near the prison gate and report to the zonal office which in turn, report to the headquarters in Abuja more worrisome nothing is done as regards their accommodations and reformatory and rehabilitative imperatives shockingly. Successive governments in Nigeria have made recommendations and suggestions to better the operation of prisons, but little or nothing has been done in terms of implementation (Ayuk, 2003).

Recently, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gave its committee on interior a two week deadline to submit a report on a bill seeking to improve the appalling condition of the nation’s prisons titled: A bill for an Act to repeal the Prison Act. This bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the comprehensive reform of the Nigerian prison system. Regrettably, this and similar efforts in the past so far, have been inconclusive. For instance, Obasanjo’s government set up a National Working Group on Prison Reform and congestion to audit the state of the nation’s prisons and make recommendations to the government. Successive Attorneys General in the country have equally made recommendations to the government on prison reform following the extensive audit of the nation’s prisons in 2005 – former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Bayo Ojo and the Federal Ministry of Justice recommended to the then Federal Executive Council to declare the issue of awaiting trial inmates (ATI) a matter of urgent national importance. Till date, nothing fruitful has resulted from the reform initiative (Nation, 2010).

It should be noted however, that security of lives and properties still remains the utmost concern of every government and since crime is functional people must consciously or unconsciously “slapped” the law. The issue is, are there structures equipped enough to guarantee reformation of these defaulters? Would these offenders changed to be better citizens or more “hardened” upon release? These issues raised pose serious challenge to our prison and criminal justice system. To guarantee or for prison reforms to be effective, the three instrumentalities of the criminal justice system (Police, Court and Prison) must be responsive.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Different reform programs have been proposed towards improving prisons in Nigeria. In any case, the hazard of the frailty condition of the Nigerian prison facilities despite everything brings a worry and requires earnest consideration. Nigerian prisons are portrayed by congestion, across the board of malady, poor ventilation, poor feeding and helpless medical consideration. A few writers have distinguished congestion and non-usage of prison reforms suggestions as the significant difficulties going up against the Nigerian prisons (Ibrahim Z., 2012; Obioha E 2011 and Achu AA, Owan EJ, Ekok OC 2013). A report of a 12man presidential committee on prison decongestion revealed that 29,372 inmates out of 41,524 inmates are awaiting trial. Many cells meant to accommodate about 50 inmates were found to accommodate about 150 inmates; all cramped together (Obioha E 2011). According to Njoku (2012), the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos, is overcrowded by 250 percent. The prison, which was built for 956 inmates, is today occupied by over 2,600 inmates of which majority of the inmates awaiting trial (Njoku C 2012). Amnesty International (2012) also exposed the appalling state of Nigeria’s prison system. The report uncovered how at least 65 percent of Nigeria’s detainees or inmates have never been sentenced for any crime, with some anticipating trial for as long as ten years. Furthermore, the report found that most inmates are too poor to even consider affording an attorney and how the horrifying jail conditions have seriously harming impact on the psychological and physical state of the inmates. According to the National Assembly Legislative Digest (2010) overcrowded prisons inexorably lead to inmates being exposed to improper health conditions that result in the spread of epidemics likely to cause death such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Based on these highlighted problems, the researcher decided to appraise the Nigerian correctional service and examine the need for reform by using Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos as case studies.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is to appraise the Nigerian correctional service and examine the need for reform. However the specific objectives are:

  1. To understand the different roles the Nigeria Prison Service plays in ensuring prisoners rehabilitation.
  2. To examine the influence of rehabilitation on prisoners.
  3. To investigate the various forms of rehabilitation works going on in the prison

1.4 Research Questions

The followings are spelt out to be the research questions

  1. What are the different roles the Nigeria Prison Service plays in ensuring prisoners rehabilitation.
  2. What are the various forms of rehabilitation works going on in the prison
  3. Is there a significant relationship between rehabilitation works and prisoners’ behaiviour

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following statements are considered to be the research hypotheses

  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between rehabilitation works and prisoners’ behaiviour

1.6 Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of the study to a great extent will help in improving the performance of the performance of the Nigerian Prison Service towards prisoners’ rehabilitation.

It will also help in giving future research studies on insight into the problems faced by the Nigerian Prison Service in ensuring rehabilitation for prisoners. Above all, it is hoped that the adaptation of the recommendation will go a long way in ensuring a steady and stable rehabilitation and re-integration for inmates of the prison.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This research was limited to Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos. These two are considered to be well known prison in Nigeria and therefore this study were suitable to carry out in these places.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

This research project, like all human endeavors, had some challenges that threatened to derail the study’s completion. One of the reasons is that the time allotted for this work was so limited that the researcher did not have enough time to complete the task thoroughly. During data collection, the researcher also had to put forth extra effort to understand the respondents’ interview schedules, several of whom fell into the incomprehensible age group. Also, there were financial and transportation constraints to deal with. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, interview).


1.9 Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of carrying out this study:

The Prisoner:

Is a person proved guilty of a crime alleged against him/her and legally sentenced to punishment of a confinement in a prison. In other words a prisoner is a person sentenced to penal servitude.

Prison:

A prison is a building designated by law or used by the sheriff for the confinement or detention of persons who are judicially ordered to be kept in custody. According to Lectric Law library lexicon (2003) a prison is a place where persons are confined or restrained from personal library. It can also be regarded as a correctional detention or penal faculty. Hence the prison is often referred to as a correctional institution where offenders are confined or punished.

Reformation:

(Mostly called reforms) this refers to measures calculated to impact moral improvement in a person’s character so that he will be less inclined to re-offer the future. (Ahire 1990)

Rehabilitation:

This refers to the post release effort to make it easier for the offenders to resettle in a society (Ahire 1990).


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on an appraisal of the Nigerian correctional service: the need for reform using Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the Nigerian correctional service: the need for reform using Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos as case study. The study was specifically carried out to understand the different roles the Nigeria Prison Service plays in ensuring prisoners rehabilitation, examine the influence of rehabilitation on prisoners, and investigate the various forms of rehabilitation works going on in the prison.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were Prison warders in Ikoyi Prison, Lagos and Kirikiri prison also in Lagos State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The different roles the Nigeria Prison Service plays in ensuring prisoners rehabilitation includes: reforming the prisoners to be better than what they were before prisonization. rehabilitate the prisoners in order to equip them with new skills or improve on their old ones, and seclude criminals from the rest of the society, pending when they have atoned for their sins.
  2. The various forms of rehabilitation works going on in the prison includes: psychological, occupational-based, education-focused, and skill acquisition.
  3. There is a significant relationship between rehabilitation works and prisoners’ behaviour.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Designing of skills training should be made to satisfy the aspiration of most inmates. Limiting the training facilities to carpentry, bricklaying, barbing etc. may not lead to successful rehabilitation. More crafts and vocational skills, including computer operation should be included in the prisons vocational curriculum in order to provide opportunity for those that still aspire for higher educational qualifications and to boost the esteem of the prisoners when they are released. Similarly, facilities to help academic oriented inmates ought to be provided. Prison libraries are needed and part time teachers to teach various subjects including English language and mathematics could be engaged. This recommendation is based on the observation that some prison inmates are more interested in educational/academic careers than in vocational education.
  2. There is an urgent need to institute alternative measures to imprisonment. When this is done, the number of people going to prison will be reduced. One of the notable alternative measures is the New Restorative Justice mechanism, which has been tested and proved to be effective in some developed countries.
  3. Government should as a matter of urgency, build more houses to accommodate the ever increasing number of inmates.
  4. As more prisons are recommended, there should be adequate provision for bedding and other infrastructure facilities, such as recreation facilities, etc. The existing prison yards should be re-furbished in terms of the physical structure/facilities in them among others. Ensuring that all the capital budgetary allocations to the prison services are supervised through a standby committee that may be constituted by the minister would do this.
  5. Regular seminars, organizational research workshop should be carried out to acquaint the staff and inmates with the necessary skills.

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