Make prisons reformatory, not destructive – Security expert
The Nigeria Security and Justice Adviser, West Africa Conflict and Security Team (CSSF), Katrina Aitken-Laird has charged members of the Prison Media Network (PERMNET) to focus on the plight of prisoners by generating actions to ensure that imprisonment does not translate to a last chapter closed on the fortunes of inmates. She made the appeal at the monthly meeting of PERMNET members held in Abuja.
Katrina noted that objective information about the Nigerian Prisons Service will certainly shape public opinion and guide policy makers towards evolving a sense of collective responsibility for better prison system. Media component is particularly important because prison institutions are key to socio-economic development of any nation she further stated. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in sponsoring Justice Sector Reform (JSR), recognised the invaluable role of the Prisons in perfecting justice process hence the need to accommodate the NPS in JSR programme.
The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS), DCP Francis Enobore who spoke on behalf of the Controller General of Prisons, Ja’afaru Ahmed, commended the sponsors and PERMNET members for their support and objective reportage noting that prison connotes an environment where offenders are given opportunity and assistance to show penitence.
Francis added that: “Anything and everything about the prison should sermonize re-socialisation and changing ‘the undesirable’ to ‘the desirable’ thus requiring interventions that reflect this ideal.”
Also speaking at the occasion, Dr. Uju Agomoh, former Executive Director of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) encouraged members to generate forward looking issues that are rich, purposeful, focused and factual in order to attract needed attention from stakeholders.
She noted that the re-entry process of prisoners back into the society should be of paramount concern hence the need for humane custody and quick justice delivery.