The main objective of this study was on adult education programs for reformation of prison inmates in Oko prison Benin city Edo state: Challenges and Strategies for improvement. To guide this study, four research questions were formulated. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population of the study comprised all the prison staff and inmates in Edo State. The sample consisted of 200 persons i.e. 100 inmates and 100 prison staff selected through simple random sampling. Questionnaire was the instrument for data collection which was dully validated by experts in Adult Education and Measurement and Evaluation. Among the major findings of the study were that overcrowding, poor funding, poor sanitation, poor facilities militate against reformation of prison inmates while provision of adequate facilities, recruitment of professional educators and administrators, adequate counseling services, adequate funding of prisons among others were the strategies for improvement in reformation of prison inmates in Edo State.
1.1 Background of the study
Reformation of Prison inmates is one of the most important functions of the Nigerian Prisons service. Reformation of Prison inmate means correcting, educating, re-orientating and rehabilitating the inmates so that they could become better citizens when released from the prison. Wikipedia (2015) defines prison reform as the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons, establish a more effective penal system or implement alternatives to incarceration. The Nigerian prisons service, just like other agencies inherited from the British colonial government has been viewed as an agent created by the government and its policies. Prison service of Nigeria derives its powers from Cap. 366 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (1990) to perform the following functions amongst which include: Take into custody all those legally intended and set in motion mechanisms for their training and reformation, preparatory to returning them back to the society as normal law abiding citizens. The implication is that reformed prisoners do no longer be security threats to national peace which is so vital for socioeconomic and political development. In other words, the purpose of reform is to train through appropriate conditions convicted prisoners to be better citizens on discharge. There is no better way to help prison inmates avoid breaking in and out of jail cycle and functioning suitably in the society on release, than assisting them acquire the skills needed to succeed in later life through rehabilitation (Uche, Uche, Ezumah, Ebue, Okafor & Ezegbe, 2015). 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 programmes in the transformation and restoration of prison inmates is recognized (Tanimu, 2010). Effective rehabilitation programmes in prisons could assist inmates acquire suitable skills, promote prospect development as well as attitudinal and behavioural changes. Hence, prison rehabilitation programmes are considered helpful provisions offered to inmates to ensure and promote their physical, mental-health, psychological, social, vocational and economic potentials (Federal Government of Nigeria, 1989; 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; Igbo, 2007). There are a number of prison rehabilitation programmes 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 case and group work/intervention, recreational activities, educational programmes and skills acquisition programmes (Nigeria Prison Service, 1989). 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 (1989), some of the specific objectives of 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). Research Igbo (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 programmes 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.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Reformation of prisons and prisoners in Nigeria still conjures punishment (Kalu, 2002). Kalu went further to say that the new ideology behind our panel practice in Nigeria was further predicted upon the belief that imprisonment and subsequent loss of freedom was punishment enough, punitive imprisonment had deformative effect on the minds and outlook of the prisoners. A prisoner or an inmate is a person who is deprived of liberty against his or her will. This can be by confinement, captivity, or forcible restrain. The term applies particular to those on trial or servicing prison sentence in a prison (Wikipedia, 2015). According to the Nigerian Prison Service Manual (2011), the realization of one of the major objectives of the prisons service – the reform and rehabilitation of convicts are to be done through a complicated set of mechanisms consisting among others: conscientization, group work, case work session, recreational activities, religious services and adult and remedial education programs, educational development project, skills acquisition program, mid-range industrial production, agricultural service and after-care service program. The prison’s services providers should not only identify the causes of the prisons’ inmates anti-social behavior but also endeavors to set them on the road to reform through induced self-rediscovery and eventual change for the better. It is in view of the above that necessitate the researcher to embark on the study;
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine adult education programs for reformation of prison in Oko Benin city, but to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intend to achieve the following specific objectives;
- i) To ascertain the impact adult education programs on prisoners reformation in Benin City Edo state
- ii) To ascertain if there is any significant relationship between adult education program and prisoner’s reform and rehabilitation upon discharge
iii) To evaluate the effect of adult education programs on the reformation of prisoners when discharge
- iv) To ascertain the constrain to adult education programs for reformation in Oko prison
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- i) Does adult education programs have any impact on prisoner’s reformation in Benin City Edo state?
- ii) Is there any significant relationship between adult education program and prisoner’s reform and rehabilitation upon discharge?
iii) Does adult education programs have any effect on the reformation of prisoners when discharge?
- iv) Are they constrain to adult education programs for reformation in Oko prison?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
H0: adult education programs do not have any impact on prisoner’s reformation in Benin City Edo state
H1: adult education programs do have an impact on prisoner’s reformation in Benin City Edo state
H0: there is no significant relationship between adult education program and prisoner’s reform and rehabilitation upon discharge
H2: there is a significant relationship between adult education program and prisoner’s reform and rehabilitation upon discharge
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers adult education programs for reformation of prisoners in Oko prison in Benin city Edo state; in the course of the study, there are some factors that limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected inmate makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.