Health Care Delivery System For Inmates Of The Nigeria Prison (A Case Study Of Nigerian Prison Service Ado Ekiti)

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Health Care Delivery System For Inmates Of The Nigeria Prison (A Case Study Of Nigerian Prison Service Ado Ekiti)


Abstract


This study presents a picture of what the Nigerian prison system and its administration look like in respect of health care delivery system. It is loathsome and disheartening to know that fellow human beings are subjected to inhumane treatment. Every prisoner regardless of his or her offence deserves a better treatment in whatever prison environment he or she finds himself or herself in respect of health facilities. Enough of seeing the prisons as mere warehouse for the criminal and as instrument for administering cruelty and settling scores with subversive elements. It is time the Nigerian government faces up to its responsibilities for those in its prisons.The main focus of this study is to investigate health care delivery system for inmates of the Nigeria prison using Nigerian prison service ado ekiti as a case study. Specifically, the study aimed at examining the health condition of prison inmates, assess the environmental condition of Nigeria prisons, assess the benefit to effective health care delivery in Nigeria prisons, examine the Nigerian prison reforms, examine the challenges to achieving an effective health care delivery system for prison inmates, and recommend ways of improving health care delivery in Nigeria prisons. Staffs of Nigeria prison service in Ekiti state formed the population of this study. The study therefore recommends that government should take necessary measures to reduce the long period of awaiting trial in prison custody because of the enormous challenges faced by the individuals and their difficulty in coping effectively with the challenges after all, some of them are innocent.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Despite Nigeria’s progress on democratic, economic and political reforms, Nigeria’s prisons are yet to make appreciable impact on the welfare of the inmates. A recurring debate within contemporary academic circles, criminologists, health workers and prison experts, is to ensure an appropriate health template for proper prison administration that will reflect its objectives. Even though crime and other vices need to be deterred, it should be to the extent that inmates health should be adequately taken care of during and after imprisonment; it is therefore needful to be logical and rational in terms of health delivery while in custody.

Seven years into the new millennium, health for all prison inmates in Nigeria and many African nations has remained mirage. Recent assessment of African Prison Health systems indicates a gloomy picture of weakness in performance (African Regional Health Report, 2006). The inability to provide quality and equitable access to prison health care services through much reliance on western health care framework have further widening the existing health inequalities in many African countries and the Nigerian prisons in particular.

This scenario has also the poor and the rich, urban and rural dwellers, inmates and the “free” at different axis of the production spectrum of health care delivery in Nigeria. A good example of this unfavourable equation becomes obvious when the health of special groups like the prisoners is critically examined (Health in African Prisons, 1999). Evidence has linked major determinants of health in modern populations to socioeconomic, political and cultural factors and as such inequalities in health have remained problematic across cultures, socio-economic class, gender or ethnicity (Bambra et al., 2005). In the social sequence of events, prison inmates are most times from the poorest sectors of the society, and suffer more from inequitable access to effective health care services.

This experience also exacerbates existing health problems of inmates (de viggiani, 2007). Hence, the current drive towards realizing the health related millennium development goals requires more forceful drive from the Nigerian government. Health is political and the power exercised over it is part of the wider economic, social and political system (Bambra1, et al., 2005). Thus, achieving both qualitative and quantitative health among special groups like prison inmates may be far from realization going by the slow attitude of prison officials and the government in particular in addressing the health needs of prisoners. Hence, this paper attempts a sociological discourse of prison health within the social context producing it. This was done by discussing prison health in Nigeria as a social product. The paper further suggest plausible model on which optimum prison health in Nigeria could be realized.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The unsavory nature of Nigeria prisons health care system leaves one in doubt, with too many questions and fewer answers; being that majority of persons become susceptible to diseases and infections than when they never went behind bars and commit more heineous crimes. Officers and men of Nigeria prisons epitomize have not taken the health of prison inmates seriously which many are certainly not satisfied with their conditions of service delivery health wise. Interestingly, prison still remains indispensable in correcting, reforming and rehabilitating “perceived convicts” in Nigeria. It is worrisome that recommendations and suggestions made to government for prison health reforms are yet to be implemented.


1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of the study are to examine health care delivery system for inmates of the Nigeria prison. Other specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To examine the health condition of prison inmates.
  2. To assess the environmental condition of Nigeria prisons.
  3. To assess the benefit to effective health care delivery in Nigeria prisons.
  4. To examine the Nigerian prison reforms.
  5. To examine the challenges to achieving an effective health care delivery system for prison inmates.
  6. To recommend ways of improving health care delivery in Nigeria prisons.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

  1. H0: There are no challenges to effective health care system in Nigerian prisons.
    H1: There are challenges to effective health care system in Nigerian prisons.
  2. H0: Health care delivery system does not have any impact on the state of health of the inmates of the Nigerian prison
    H2: Health care delivery system does have impact on the state of health of the inmates in Nigerian prison.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study would greatly benefit the Nigerian prison service and the federal government as it would reveal the benefits of effective health care system and the challenges of achieving effective health care system in Nigerian prisons across the country. the study would also be of immense importance to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study is restricted to health care system delivery system to prison inmates in Nigerian prison using the Nigerian prison service Ado ekiti, Ekiti state as a case study.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Finance:

The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover


1.8 Definition of Terms

Inmates

A person who is confined to an institution such as a prison or hospital.

Prison

A prison, correctional facility, detention center, jailor remand Centre is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most commonly used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until they are brought to trial; those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified period of imprisonment. Besides their use for punishing crimes, jails and prisons are frequently used by authoritarian regimes against perceived opponents.

Health Care

Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. It includes the work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc.
  • Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
  • Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to examine health care delivery system for inmates of the Nigeria prisons.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of health care delivery for inmates in Nigeria prisons.


5.2 Summary

This study presents a picture of what the Nigerian prison system and its administration look like in respect of health care delivery system. It is loathsome and disheartening to know that fellow human beings are subjected to inhumane treatment. Every prisoner regardless of his or her offence deserves a better treatment in whatever prison environment he or she finds himself or herself in respect of health facilities. Enough of seeing the prisons as mere warehouse for the criminal and as instrument for administering cruelty and settling scores with subversive elements. It is time the Nigerian government faces up to its responsibilities for those in its prisons. The prisoners deserve humane and just treatment in order to reform, remold and reintegrate them back to the society. Improving the situation of inmates in the Nigerian prisons requires an effective and functioning judiciary. Without this, the practice of keeping large numbers of inmates awaiting trial in Nigerian prisons for extended periods of time which may lead to the deterioration in the health of the individuals. The judiciary should endeavor to follow due process in accordance with Nigeria’s national, regional and international obligations of fair trial. It is hoped that this study will provoke the necessary actions from the concerned authorities to salvage the very bad conditions of Nigerian prisons and the inmates there in.


5.3 Conclusion

A more holistic prison reform that is focused on all stakeholders including the prisoners is a necessity in bringing about significant changes in promoting prison health as well as making the Nigerian prison humane within a limited time. In addition, the constitutional rights of the accused need to be reinterpreted in such a way that undue delay and incarcerations of awaiting trials that has contributed to prisons overcrowding in Nigeria will be minimised. More judges could be employed even on part-time basis to facilitate quite delivery of judgments (Enuku, 2001). While trying to make prison more humane it should not be at the expense of the larger public interest. At the same time the prison should b geared towards reforming the prisoners to better being for themselves and the larger society. For instance the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy started by the Obasanjo administration could be extended to those in prisons especially the youths and the women in incarceration. If properly done quite a number of the prisoners who are mostly from poor economic background will be better after leaving the prison.

However, introducing such programme will require a reorientation of the prison staff from what they have been socialized into new norms. More qualified hands need to be recruited into the Nigerian prison service especially in the drive towards professionalism and maintenance of social order. This will affect the quality of staff and interaction outcomes as they relate more often with the prisoners than any other government agency. In the final analysis, alternative to prison such as the parole system, community service may be better options than imprisonment. Alternative measures such as the ones mentioned here when properly designed and implemented within the socio-cultural context of the Nigerian society may be cost effective and functional than the present system


5.4 Recommendation

Haven successfully completed the study; the researcher therefore put forward the following recommendation; Programs and policies that will increase the ability of prison inmates to cope with their challenges should be put in place by the government and nongovernment organizations. Government and non-government organizations should provide and improve necessary psychological and guidance services in prisons. This is necessary to help inmates to cope with the challenges of their incarceration. Government should take necessary measures to reduce the long period of awaiting trial in prison custody because of the enormous challenges faced by the individuals and their difficulty in coping effectively with the challenges after all, some of them are innocent.


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