Jail breaks: Solution is fewer inmates, not taller walls - CURE
A legal aid non-governmental organisation, Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) has advocated the reduction of number prison inmates to prevent incessant jail breaks in the country.
The executive director of CURE, Sylvester Uhaa, who stated this in an interview with Daily Trust, said instead of making higher walls and engaging gun- toting security operatives, what was required was lower number of prison inmates.
He said findings related to jail breaks worldwide show that they are spearheaded by awaiting trial inmates, adding that the case of Nigeria, which has 80 per cent of prison inmates on pretrial, is no exception.
Two inmates reportedly escaped undetected after a jail break at the Kuje Medium Prison in Abuja on June 24, 2016.
But Uhaa said the challenges of inadequate uniforms, food, water and bed spaces in the prisons, which is caused by over population, is sufficient to breed discontent and incessant jail breaks.
“Where we need to spend the money is to make sure that people in prison have access to rehabilitation and reintegration programmes. We don’t need a new law to achieve that,” he said in reference to the Prisons Service Bill which proposes to make the Nigeria prisons correction centres.
He said the appointment of retired General Abdularahman Dambazau as Minister for Interior affords Nigeria a golden opportunity to achieve the desired standardization of the prison facilities.
“This is the most qualified minister so far as the Nigerian Prisons System is concerned because he is a qualified criminologist with a Ph.D. He has written in these areas. The Nigeria Police and Prison have now been brought under one umbrella. So this is an opportunity we should not miss. Therefore my call to the federal government to invest in the prison system,” he said.