DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE PRISON MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF THE NIGERIAN PRISONS SERVICE ENUGU)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Management of prisons in Nigeria has long been a neglected area which has recently been incorporated in the e-governance program of Government of Nigeria. Currently a rudimentary process of storing all the prisoner data in manual files and registers is in place. The Prison Management System project will integrate all the prisoner data into a single integrated system which will in turn result all the information being present in a digital format.
ICT in prisons was initiated in the year 2002 at Delhi Prisons, Tihar. The Tihar Prisons Complex in New Delhi is the biggest prison complex in Asia comprising of 9 prisons and one District Jail at Rohini with a total strength of more than 11,000 prisoners against a normal sanctioned capacity of 6250 prisoners. In a year about 70,000 – 80,000 inmates remain lodged in these prisons for different duration and crimes committed by them. This prison population has about 80% under trials and includes about 480 women inmates. About 400 inmates are foreigners from different parts of the world. Many high security criminals also live here. There has been a substantial increase in number of prison inmates coming to Tihar because of a phenomenal increase in the crime scene at Delhi that has resulted in the increase of the ICT needs and its management at the Tihar Jail Complex.
Nearly 1700-1800 visitors meet their relative inmates’ everyday. There was manual system of booking (meetings) in each jail for its respective inmates. Centralised visitor record was not available. There was lack of exchange of visitors’ information within jails and prison headquarters. No provision for identification / detection / verification of visitors was there.
Managing the prisoner record and monitoring of prisoner / visitor was always difficult since most of the records were normally maintained manually, so the concerned authorities were required to go through all the registers to find out the details and status of the inmate as well as of the visitor.