New Telegraph

Invest in inmates’ rehabilitation, judge tells govt

A Lagos State High Court judge, Atinuke Oluyemi, has called on governments at all levels to invest in the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates of correctional centres across the country. She said such a step would help the inmates to be better citizens when released from the centres. Justice Oluyemi, who represented Pastor Layide Bakare, made the call in a lecture titled; ‘Inmates entrepreneurial empowerment as a strategy for crime curtailment,’ which she delivered at the matriculation and graduation of Onesimus Project held at Medium Security Prisons in the Kirikiri area of Apapa, Lagos yesterday.

The project is a life recovery pre-release empowerment programme of the Prison Fellowship Nigeria in conjunction with its partners – Nigerian Correctional Service, Covenant University as well Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria. Oluyemi made a case for better funding of the nation’s correctional centres, adding that officials must be well enumerated. She said: “Correctional centres undisputedly are primary partners with other collaborators – Police, Ministries of Justice and the Judiciary – in criminal justice administration in the country; and as such deserve to be better funded by the government and configured to rehabilitate inmates; while officials must be well remunerated. “Governments at all levels are enjoined to rise to their constitutional responsibility to ensure that the NCoS live up to its expectation.

The government at all levels must support organisations and institutions like Onesimus Project to give inmates reasons to eschew crime by investing in their reformation and rehabilitation to help them to be better citizens when released from these centres.

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