Chris Okoye, Controller of Correctional Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, Imo State Command, has disclosed that a fresh mechanism has been put in place by the Federal Government for the rehabilitation and reformation of prison inmates across the country.
This, he said is to redirect the minds of the inmates towards positive ventures, encourage and promote their mental alertness and healthy living so as to make them better citizens for reintegration in society after serving their sentences.
Okoye stated this at the grand finale of the 2019 edition of the annual tournament of the Owerri Custodian Centre held in Owerri.
Aside this, he said, that the Correctional Service also organises education and skill acquisition programmes to make the inmates better, adding that while some of them had acquired the West African School Certificate (WASC), others had become graduates, good footballers, table tennis and volley ball players, carpenters, shoe menders and professional painters.
“Many have acquired skills and have achieved propensity and we appeal to well meaning Nigerians to assist us in making this reformation process a success,” he pleaded.
Okoye, who pronounced the game the ‘No Victor, No Vanquished,” said “what is taking place today in this Correctional Centre is not new as it has been here over the years, but that of today own is peculiar, anchored on reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration.”
He added: “Here, we have education centre, medical, counselling, welfare and vocational services and these are part of the reformation we are talking about.”
Pastor Nath Nzeh, a businessman, commended the Custodian Centre for its ingenuity, which he said, would make the inmates feel at home, become brothers again and not miscreants and also reintegrate themselves in society after leaving the prisons.
Nzeh, however, advised the Federal Government to come up with proactive measures to address the problems of juvenile delinquency in the country.
“The inaction of the government is worrisome because in Europe, most prisons have been closed down and government has a special way of taking care of miscreants.”
Precious Kamalu, General Provost/Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the tournament, explained that the exercise was initiated as an antidote to the boredom and depression among inmates that formerly characterised the annual August vacation of the Nigerian judiciary.
According to him, it also served as a supplementary means of helping inmates to acquire and to develop sports skills in line with the reformation goal of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).