An expert in human sociology and criminology, Dr Kayode Akinleye has knocked the Nigerian government over the change in the name of Nigerian Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service, saying” the FG has ignorantly put the cat before the horse “.
DAILY POST recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari recently accented to the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, thereby making it an act of the parliament and permanently changed the age-long name of the Nigerian Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service.
Akinleye, in an exclusive interview with DAILY POST on Monday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital said what the bill ought to have been prioritized was the total reform of the Nigerian Prison , which would see to proper reorganization and rearrangement.
He explained that the present state of prisons all over the country urgently requires quick intervention and attention from the government beyond change in name.
The expert maintained that in as much as the change in name is also of paramount importance, it should be the last stage of the process and not the starting point.
He noted that neglect on the part of government, coupled with high level of corruption amongst prison officials have rendered prisons across the country ineffective to correct social vices and to a large extent constitute serious danger to the society.
He said :” Nigerian prisons are constituting serious menace to the society instead of rehabilitating offenders and reintegrating them back into the society for better living.
“It will shock you to note that more than eighty per cent of small scale criminals who went into Nigerian prisons graduated to large scale crime by the time they came out of prisons.
“The terrible state of Nigerian prisons in terms of decrepit infrastructure as a result of neglect by the government, together with deep rooted corruption amongst prison officials portend a scaring omen for our society”, he said.
Akinleye however implored the Federal government to quickly move and set up a virile committee, which should comprise sincere professionals and experts who understand modern prison arrangement.
He called for urgent infrastructural intervention in all the prisons all over Nigeria for the purpose of decongestion, and provision of comprehensive vocational programmes to empower inmates and prepare them for life after prison.
According to him, social engagement in the area of skill acquisition and robust reorientation programmes would go a long way to reintegrate inmates back into the society .
“Changing of name should not be the first phase of the proposed reform in the Nigerian Prison. The level of social decadence in that institution is indeed alarming and unimaginable.
” I expected government to first and foremost embark on aggressive infrastructural development in all the prisons across the country and also purge it’s officials of corrupt practices which have eaten deep into the fabric of that organization and seriously posing a serious threat to our society.
“To me, changing the name before the structure is like putting the cat before horse, and also akin to organizing a naming ceremony for an unborn child”.