Survey Of Social Welfare Service In Nigeria Prisons

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Survey Of Social Welfare Service In Nigeria Prisons


This study critically examine the inmate and the workers welfare as it relates or affects job satisfaction in social welfare services department of Oko Federal Prison, Benin City, Edo State. The impetus for the study derives from the realization that social welfare services improve the condition of inmates and the workers in the prison custody. A sample of 120 persons were chosen for the study and drawn room all the ranks and file of prisons uniform staff, who are the custodian of the inmates. The sample included both sexes. Adequate care was taken in the selection of persons thereby ensuring a cross sectional representation.

The questionnaire consist of items and the respondents were asked to tick (x) in the place that corresponds with their opinions. The project was equally validated by the project supervisor in the department of Adult Education and two other officials of the social welfare services department Oko Federal Prison, Benin City, Edo State. A pilot test was carried out with the uniformed members of social welfare, the officers in charge of prison to determine the reliability of the instrument. The interview was conducted with the help of some senior welfare officers, the officers in charge of prisons, the inmates and the public and the researcher. Simple percentage workings were used to analyze the data, the following findings were established.

  1. The levels of welfare services in Oko Federal Prison, Benin was excellent.
  2. The inmates are able to obtain adequate corrective training and making the best use of the available resources.
  3. The efforts of welfare services in alleviating the problems of inmates towards reformation, rehabilitation and re-integration of inmates back into the society was excellent.
  4. The welfare section in the prison is making the best use of the available resources towards findings solution to the problems facing provision of welfare services in Nigeria prisons.
  5. Adult education programmes organized for the inmates in Oko Prison encompasses vocational training and literacy classes.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

“We are all in prison said Sir Alexandra (1999) but is a matter of degree”. He meant that all of geographically owing to choice, employment, political or economic conditions. But this conditions are given willingly and the victim perhaps unconscious of the occurrence. But there is however, a difference in kind, when we consider the imprisonment enforced by the sentence of court upon citizens of law. The place of captivity, especially a bucking to which persons are committed while awaiting trails or for punishment.

Social welfare service according to Chorodhry (1979) are those services designed for the weaker and vulnerable section of the community who due to some handicap, socio-economic, physical and mental disabilities are unable to make use of traditionally denied the use of those services. There are also those who are physically whole but are equally deprived for reasons e.g. there are religions practices that tend to confined women to an everlasting life of privacy Purdah.

The second definition is that offered by the United Nations Economic Council for Africa (UNECA) that body defined social welfare for the promotion of social well being through helping people to help themselves in meeting the needs in such areas as family and child health social adjustment, leisure of time, standard of living and socio-relationship. It may also be defined as a science provided by the state whose objective is the improvement of the welfare of the individual. It is no wonder than why it is necessary that such department be established in institution like prison. It has been the recognized right of societ5ies to punish offenders. Today, nearly the way most societies deal with persons who commit an offence is to confine them to persons. Some staying there for rest of their lives while a few may be sentenced t death depending on the nature of their offence. The prisoners at times wonder how they get to such situation bringing the past into memory and possibly locating their errors and mistakes. There are some prisoners that could become hardened offenders if they are left to the treatment of warden and they will not come about the outcome of any offence or act of theirs. If there is no section of the prison to advise these people on their present situation and thereafter discharge, their lives will be miserable and the society will be in further danger.

The unfortunate condition or state of a prisoner in our community is said deplorable and that this situation could make people fed up about life and convinced in themselves that they cannot do better again in life. The society is at a distance from them and all former friends and relations desert them. By this, discharged prisoners become rejected in the societies. They are usually left with people who have suffered the same spell of life by accidental or by merit. The result of such reaction by the society to the criminal minded discharged prisoners is that they become hardened offenders, they are more fervent in their criminal ways and subsequently they become outcasts in the community. But with the efficient working of the social welfare services department of the prison, the life thinking and general horizon of these prisons could be improved and made better. Prison welfare services aim at enabling the prisoners to obtain adequate corrective training in the process of their imprisonment and to attain a satisfactory social and economic adjustment when discharged from prison.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The welfare of prisoners is linked up with many others social problems which are the roots cause of their imprisonment. Since the role of social welfare officer of the prison is to assist the prisoners make a satisfactory adjustment, reinforcement, rehabilitation and reintegration into community life when he is eventually discharged. Following the confinement of offenders as prisoners are a chain of related problem never thought of, nor dreamt of by the prisoners. They have complex problem, the totality of which makes things worse for them. For this reasons one sees the need to cool them down and reassure them your lawful cooperation. This will give them some hope of confidence and a feeling of belonging to the community in this regard, they could realize that, it is not too late to adjust and become once more a lawful abiding and legitimate member of the community to which they belong.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The objectives of the study were as follows:

  1. To examine the level of availability of welfare service in Oko Prison
  2. To determine whether the inmates are able to obtain adequate corrective training in the process of their imprisonment due to the provision of the welfare services.
  3. To identify the problems facing the provision of welfare services in the Nigeria prison.
  4. To find out the type of adult education programmes being organized for the prisoners.
  5. To see if the welfare service help in the reformations, rehabilitation and reintegration of the inmates back into the society.

1.4 Research Questions

Based on the problems raised above and the purpose generated, the following research questions were raised.

  1. What are the problems facing provision of welfare services in the Nigerian prison?
  2. How do the welfare services help in the reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates back in the society?
  3. What are the types of adult education programme organized for prisoners?
  4. What are the levels of welfare services available in Oko Prison?
  5. Are the inmates able to obtain adequate corrective training in the process of their imprisonment due to the provision of the welfare services?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study of the opinion to make correction and serve as a corrective measure. It is the prisoners or inmates to adjust to the normal norms and values of the society that is keeping to the laws and regulations of the land. It gives clear report of what the prisons look like and what is their operation rather than a mere false impression created as before. The researcher is out to enlighten the people on these, not to see member of the prison as a constraint to the society but to give necessary assistance. It is of the opinion to let people aware that the prisoners have undergone various training to enable them to be self reliant economically or being absorbed to any enterprise. The aims and objectives is to maintain laws and order in the society. as a result, it helps governments to reduce criminal act in the society. it reduces the labour market due to the rehabilitation programme they have undergone in the prison through the government effort.

1.6 Scope of the Study

A service that is as wide as social welfare would equally cover a wide variety of programmes or services. It has been noted by authors in the literature that any social welfare should have a scope which covers:

  1. Support programmes for deprived children
  2. Support programmes for the physical children
  3. Support for the physical disabled
  4. Services for the mentally disordered.
  5. Services for the medically handicapped prison that is those suffering from chronic illness like cancer heart disease kidney failure, HIV/AIDS etc.
  6. Social services for the backward or educationally disadvantaged people and
  7. Other community welfare services to ease family relations problems, delinquency, poverty housing and other social problems.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

This study is restricted to investigate the provision of social welfare in the Oko Prison, Benin. This is inevitable to the researcher time, space and financial constraints inherent in the execution of this study.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The proper understanding of their piece of work will be highly appreciated if the terminology used in this study is explained in a clear and understanding languages. These are prison, social welfare, adjustment, inmates and crime.


It is defined as a place of captivity, delaminated and declared as such as by the law of the state and created to ensure restraint and custody of individuals accused or convicted for violating the criminal laws of the state, civil person, debtors, prisoners of war and state detainees are also received (SIC) and kept in the prison.

Social Welfare:

This can be defined as an activity organized or planned primarily and directly for preserving, protecting and improving human resources. It may also be defined as a service provided by the state whose objective is the improvement of the individual.


Any suspect person who is charged with a fault or crime, blame after proper investigation found guilty of such an offence committed is called accused.

Convicted Persons:

Any person who is declared guilty by a legal process either by an act of omission or commission and there by pronounced by magistrate of judge in any legal court of law.


This is a system of combining guardroom in the person industry and labour. Custody should be intended primarily for first offenders or star who are not of sophisticated type.


This is the act of correcting the prisoners by introducing them to various training, including vocational, educational and moral. In some prison, they organized educational activities through individuals efforts. Efforts could be that of the welfare unit in the prisons. Although there are no official provision for such activities or that of the prison inmates themselves in 1985/86 school year, such a programme as initiated at Benin Prison through the effort of a former civilian governor of Kano State Alhaji Barkin Zuwo who was serving his prison term (News Watch, 1985) such transitional programme will help the prisoner from being dangerous or liability to the community.


This is an occupant of a hospital prison, institution from violating the criminal laws of the state.


This is an illegal acts, an offence which is punishable by law.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Inspite of all the problems militating against social welfare services in Nigeria prisons, they have achieved some positive results with a particular reference to the services rendered to the inmates before and after their discharge. The achievements could be attributed to the interest shown by the social workers, the cooperation of the controller of prison in charge of state command, that of the chief Suprintendent in charge of Oko Prison coupled with the financial support from the government through meager, personal contribution of the social workers towards the progress of their work and community as a whole. Also, prison visitors and prison committee have dedicated themselves to help the social welfare section in alleviating the suffering of the inmates. They have been supporting the prison in reducing the prevailing problems. At times, they supply drugs provide working tools for deserving prisoners.

Nigeria association for the care and resettlement of offenders (NACRD) too has been playing a vital role in prisoner’s welfare services they have taken it upon themselves to make the inmates relatively comfortable. Others are religious organization from different denomination and philanthropist. All said and done, Nigeria prisons social welfare services organization cannot be the idea type because nay organization dealing with the welfare of the less privilege should not be purely bureaucratic. It is supposed to be the type of system which should involve the whole and not a part of a whole. Secondly, the objective of getting the inmate integrated into the scoeity after discharge has not been achieved due to poor financing, lack of efficient coordination of the various programmes for achieving this and lack of adequate resources both human and materials resources.

There are no incentives to the workers who have contribute little or nothing towards the harmonization of existing measures for inmates after care, reformation, rehabilitation and restoration to normal responsible life. Lastly, the inmates are not well classified as expected; this makes the operation of social welfare services, especially in the area of reformation a bit cumbersome. There is no proper separation of different category of inmates like first offenders, second offenders and the recidivists. In chapter one of this study, the researcher introduced the whole chapter of study. In this chapter, the background of the study was discussed, the researcher narrated what the prison and the social welfare services are all about. The attitude of the inmates and that of the community was discussed. The state of the problems was looked into in this area, some of the problems facing the social welfare services department and that of the inmates were discussed.

Also the objectives of the study were not left out, so also the researcher questions were formulated and the significance of the study in which the researcher expressed the government and the entire populations, the scope in which the researcher explained the restriction of the study, i.e. the sound welfare services of Oko prison of Benin Federal prison. The definitions of terms were made in which the meaning of some terms like prisons, accused, custody, inmates and crime were given.

Chapter two was based on literature, there the researcher stretched out the meaning of social welfare services and he talked about the prisons in general. Discussed the situation of the prison during pre and post independence in Nigeria. In pre-colonial era, the researcher emphasized that idea of imprisonment, as a means of punishing offenders was not foreign to many pre-literate communities in Africa. He explained that different tribal in Africa. He explained that different tribal communities had their own legitimate methods of dealing with different members of the societies e.g. Ogboni house among the Yoruba’s, the Eweka among the Edo’s or Bini’s served as prisons. The post independent period of 1960 brought prisons under the ministry of internal affairs cadet ASP scheme was introduced after independence to improve the quality of the senior staff and replace out going European officials. In 1966 Gobirs report, the government decreed that all native authority prisons were to be taken over by the federal department of prison and that full integration of all prisons into federal system should be operative from 1st April, 1968. Classification which is the division of prison into various classes, was discussed, the reason for classification was included,. The researcher explained prison as a reforming place there, the definition of crime and the causes were enumerated were also looked into by emphasizing then work and vocational training, educational prisoners, religion among the prisoners welfare scheme, discipline and staff attitude.

Chapter three dealt with the research methodology in introduction to research methodology, the objective of this research was to critically examine the inmates and the workers welfare services department of Oko federal prison, Edo State. Freeman et al (1972) said that research procedure must attempt to meet scientific standard and this is why the research has to provide reasons and explanation for the procedure adopted in the research. The chapter discussed the research designed, population, sample and sampling techniques, instrument, method of data analysis, distribution and collection procedure, validity and reliability together with administration of instrument.

Chapter four was based on analysis and presentation of data. In this chapter, the responses obtained from the questionnaires administered were presented and analyzed; various tables were tabulated to show the following: responses obtained from the questionnaires administered. Sex distribution of the respondent’s marital status of respondents, educational qualification of respondents and status of respondents. Chapter four, there was discussion on finding the organization of the prison were discussed. The researcher explained the concept of adult education in Nigeria prison; he stretched his points to literacy education, remedial education, functional literacy and recreation education.

The effectiveness of the prison social welfare programmes in reforming the inmate are identified problems associated with them, ij this area, effectiveness of reformation of the prisoners obtain adequate corrective training in the process of their imprisonment and obtain satisfaction social and economic adjustment by the time discharged. Case work visit was discussed in this area, the difficult lies solely in securing transport fare to make the necessary contracts on behalf of the inmates. The areas of educational welfare of the inmates without gain saying has suffered a lot of hardship due to structural adjustment programmes because most of the prisoners are inferred with their usual complaints of lack of sufficient food.

5.2 Conclusion

From the study of organization and administration of social welfare services in the Nigeria prisons as a whole and oko prison in particular are not well organized and thus has affected the attachment of the set goals of rehabilitating the discharged prisoners and their resettlement. This can be linked with the negligence on the part of government for not providing adequate policies on administration and financial utilization. The government needs to make a policy that will enhance maximum utilization of resources for the betterment of the prisoners. In order to ensure that the welfare services in Nigeria prisons are performing up to standard or survive in this period of structural adjustment programme (SAP) a new maintenance policy should be used maximally for prisoner’s welfare.
These steps if well implemented will help the social welfare services in Nigeria prisons achieve the aims of individuals and groups including the inmates into the society. it will also make the social welfare service in the developed countries and this will enhance the achievement of aspirations by the people of this great country.

5.3 Recommendations

From the study, the writer has a few recommendations to make for the improvement of the organizational system of the available welfare services in Nigeria prisons. They include increased and adequate financial grants. If the grants given to the social welfare services increased and given adequately, it will enable them to implement the available programmes before them adequately and expand them. It also strongly recommended that the awareness of the people in this society should be aroused to affect changes in their attitude towards the discharged inmates so that they will not feel rejected through the society. This can be done through enlightenment programmes like public lectures, jingles, in electronic media through which people can be educated more about them.

Constant training, orientation, workshops and conferences are also necessary in other places where social welfare service is being organized so as to be keeping with the peace of ever dynamic nature of the scoeity. Proper classification of the inmates in the prisons is also necessary to ease administration of adult education and other reformation programmes.

5.4 Suggestions for Further Research

A research of this nature demands an extensive scope and coverage in order to increase its validity and reliability. It is therefore suggested that the following topics be made for further research studies.

  1. Contribution of welfare services among the inmates in the prison custody
  2. Functional literacy education as a means of reforming and reintegrating the inmates back into the society.

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