A SURVEY OF SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICE IN NIGERIA PRISONS

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A SURVEY OF SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICE IN NIGERIA PRISONS

 

ABSTRACT

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. The levels of welfare services in Oko Federal Prison, Benin was excellent. The inmates are able to obtain adequate corrective training and making the best use of the available resources. 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. 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. Adult education programmes organized for the inmates in Oko Prison encompasses vocational training and literacy classes.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO 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   OBJECTIVE 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   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.

Prison: 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.

Accused: 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. 

Custody: 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.

Adjustment: 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.

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

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

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