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I .1       Background to the Study

Prison is an institution designed to securely house people who have been convicted of crimes or are on awaiting trial. These individuals known as prisoners or inmates are kept in continuous custody on a short or long-term basis. Usually, the more serious the offence, the longer the prison term imposed. Awake (2005) defined prison as a total institution or a place of residence and work, where a large number of like situated individuals are cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time together, lead and enforce formally administered round of life. This new environment is expected to provide the prisoners/inmates with particular opportunities of rethinking, stock taking and repentance from old ways (Omorogiuwa, 2014). Incarceration entails imprisonment or confinement as a deterrent without associating any privileges to it while rehabilitation of offenders may imply a more cooperative and remedial approach (Singh, 2008). Hence, the significant need for rehabilitation services in the transformation and restoration of prison inmates is recognized (Tanimu, 2010).

Effective rehabilitation services in prisons could assist inmates acquire suitable skills, promote prospect development as well as attitudinal and behavioural changes. Hence, prison rehabilitation services are considered helpful provisions offered to inmates to ensure and promote their physical, mental-health, psychological, social, vocational and economic potentials (Nigeria Prison Services, 2009; Asokhia & Agbonluae, 2013). For any meaningful rehabilitation to take place in a prison, the rehabilitation services must first be based upon adequate provisions, which should be accessible to the inmates (Igbinovia, 2003). There are a number of prison rehabilitation services for inmates which provide specific skills crucial for preparing inmates for better living on release from the prison; while the main objectives of the prisons service, which is the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates can be actualized through programmes such as: social ease and group work/intervention, recreational activities, educational programmes and skills acquisition programmes (Nigeria Prison Service, 2009). As a consequence, prison inmates that incorporate rehabilitation services during confinement are likely to gain skills that could provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities upon their release.

The prisons services providers do not only identify the causes of the inmates’ anti-social behaviours, but ensures the path to reformation by impacting on their potentials and subsequent change unto social functioning (Omorogiuwa, 2014). According to Federal Government of Nigeria (2009), some of the specific f rehabilitation services in Nigerian prisons include: to promote the provision of adequate and accessible recreational facilities and services for the prison inmates, provision of social welfare services for the prison inmates, development of skill- acquisition programs and educational services. The philosophy of the Nigerian prison service is that treatment and rehabilitation of offenders can be achieved through carefully designed and well- articulated reformative and rehabilitative programmes aimed at inculcating discipline, respect for the law and order and regard for the dignity of honest labour (Igbinovia, 2003; Nigeria Prison Services, 2009). Ndigbo (2007) indicates that the rehabilitation of prison inmates ought to begin from the first day of admission into the prison till the day of discharge. This is to ensure that they utilize the skills acquired through rehabilitation services to live a law abiding and meaningful life in the society. Rehabilitation services in Nigerian prisons therefore, should be aimed at increasing the educational and vocational skills of inmates and their chances of success upon release (Asokhia & Agbonluae, 2013). This is important for inmates particularly as a number of them are socially and economically deprived.

According to Sutton (2013), educational programmes provided in the prisons help to keep inmates meaningfully busy, change their attitudes or behaviour and enable employment and vocational skills for later life prospects. Uche et al. (2015), indicate that “the prison authorities with the efforts of the government have provided various skill acquisition activities which range from tailoring, art and craft work, welding, carpentry and farming among others”, to empower and ensure inmates vocational supports on release. Research acknowledged that exposure of prison inmates to recreational activities is significant to their upkeep, good health and long life. This does not only promote healthy living but also keeps inmates eventful. Also, helping professionals in the prison use social intervention measures while providing counselling, case work and after care services as a rehabilitative strategy to address inmates’ crises situations. Dudafa (2016) indicate that providing inmates with the basic tools of social intervention enables targeting behaviors that can be changed; and giving the chance for substitute to an antisocial lifestyle. Although, it is likely that some inmates often choose to change on their own, however, a number of inmates require guided assistance (Asokhia & Agbonluae, 2013), which promotes effective functioning.

Prisons are assigned the dual responsibilities of ensuring the reformation/rehabilitation as well as the retribution of offenders (Nigerian Prisons Services, 2009). Prison inmates that embrace rehabilitation during their period of incarceration acquire skills that provide them with services, opportunities and employment oh discharge. The prison authorities with the efforts of the government provides various rehabilitation services in various prisons ranging from adult literacy, tailoring, welding, carpentry, and farming among others. However, the Nigerian Prisons Service is in a dilemma because rehabilitation and retribution practices are not compatible, for reintegrating inmates. Questions as to whether the prisons are actually rehabilitating convicts; the effectiveness of these rehabilitation services or whether there is an existing conflict between the punitive ideas of imprisonment inherited from the colonialism and the need for rehabilitation are issues of concern. The above necessitated the interest of this study of Shendam Correctional Center and examined the inmates’ perception of the Impact of rehabilitation services.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Despite the noble objectives of reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration which the Nigerian prison system embarks on to ensure that criminals become changed persons, the realization of this objective has been obstructed by certain factors.

The rate at which ex-convicts are returning to jail is alarming. Reformation of prisoners has not been effective as every year criminals who become more hardened and deadlier are released as against changed individuals expected by the society.

Prisons have in modern times become training ground and school for a new category of criminals and patterns of crime unknown to the society. Prisoners left unoccupied with constructive and positive activities are likely to perfect their criminal activities through the learning of new tricks from other inmates.

Nigerian prisons service is in a dilemma because rehabilitation and retribution practices are not compatible. It is to this effect that one wonders whether the prisons are actually rehabilitating convicts or are still depending on punitive practices. To this end, Nigerian prisons find it difficult to perform their statutory functions which include the custody of offenders as well as their reformation and rehabilitation.

It’s on this ground that the researcher seeks to examine the impact of rehabilitation services in the Rehabilitation of inmates in Shendam Local Government Correctional Center.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the Impact of rehabilitation services on inmates in Shendam Local Government Area Correctional Center. The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To identify rehabilitation services provided for the inmates in Shendam Correctional Center.
  2. To identify the problems with rehabilitation of prisoners in Shendam Correctional Center.
  3. To determine the relevance of the rehabilitation services for inmates in Shendam Correctional Center.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. What are the rehabilitation vocational skills programmes that are provided for the inmates in Shendam Correctional Center?
  2. What are the problems with rehabilitation of prisoners in Shendam Correctional Center?
  3. To what extent has rehabilitation services being of impact on prison inmates in Shendam Correctional Center?

1.5       Significance of the Study

The study will be significant to Nigerian government State and Local Government Authorities), prison authority, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and researchers.

The study will be beneficial to Nigerian government because it will provide information that will help them know the extent to which they have achieved the road map for the attainment of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) objectives. It will also provide information on the extent of participation of prison inmates in the Rehabilitation services and the socio- economic impact of the programmes towards rehabilitation of the inmates. Information on the worth and merits of this programme will be made known to the government through the outcome of this study. This will enable them take possible action to move the programme forward in the prisons. This will also help Federal Government in policy and decision making on whether to modify initial plans, show more commitment, or to terminate the programme.

In addition to this, the State and Local Governments will have an insight on were rehabilitation of inmates through Rehabilitation services need more governmental agencies’ intervention for speedy attainment of rehabilitation of prison inmates objectives.

Moreover, the study will be useful for prison authority to acquire requisite ideas to work and cope in the field of rehabilitation of prison inmates, as the findings will afford them the opportunity to know the challenges affecting the rehabilitation of prison inmates

The study will also be highly beneficial to Non- through Rehabilitation services. Governmental Organisations (NGOs), It will help them to know the impact of their intervention towards rehabilitation of prison inmates through Vocational services and trainings programmes. It will also enable them have more courage of bringing more positive intervention to the prisons.

Finally, the study also has significance to researchers. The study in this way, will contribute to the existing information in the area of rehabilitation of prison inmates study. Aspects of this study can be adopted by researchers to generate new ideas or review existing data on rehabilitation of prison inmates through rehabilitation services and making it more relevant and current.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The study will be restricted to the rehabilitation of prison inmates in Plateau State, Nigeria. The study will cover only Shendam Correctional Center.. The study will further be restricted to the assessment of the extent to which rehabilitation services have been effective on prison inmates, the various forms of rehabilitation services offered in the area of study and the problems of rehabilitation of prison inmates in the case study.

1.7       Definitions of Operational Terms

Prison: This is a place where accused persons await trial or convicted criminals are confined for safe custody with the aim of reform, rehabilitation and reintegration back to the society after their release

Prison inmate: Prison inmate can be seen as a person who is kept in a confined place known as the prison, as an accused or convicted for violating the criminal law, Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation is the process of helping a person to readapt to society or to restore someone to a former position or rank.

Rehabilitation services: Rehabilitation services are services or trainings that is geared at helping someone to live a self-sustainable and an independent life.

Vocational Skills Acquisition: Vocational skills acquisition programmes are vocational programmes that involves the acquisition of skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for effective employment in specific occupation.


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