EXAMINATION OF PRISON ADMINISTRATION AND CRIME PREVENTION IN NIGERIA.
Crime is any act or behaviour which violates the norms (normative behaving) of a society. This would mean that a criminal should be seen as any person who breaks any of the rules or norm of behaviour by which society is governed and has the possibility of affecting the wellbeing of other members of the society.(Roth 2006) Therefore, the importance of crime prevention and control, maintenance of law and order to the development and growth of a society,both in the physical and economic sense, cannot be over emphasized.
Roth (2006) is of the opinion that ‘it is only amind that is secured and at peace that can rationally address the issues of procreation,economic development and societal growth. A disturbed mind is a restless anddistraught personality. It is therefore imperative to have peace and order in thesociety to assure its growth and development.The role of law enforcement in the maintenance of peace and order as well as crime prevention in the society is aforegone conclusion.
Every man by nature is selfish and self-centered, in most case;he needs the presence of the state institution of law enforcement to be able to actright. By its establishment philosophy, the Nigerian Prisons Service is an institution meant to administer penal treatment to adult offenders. It isan important and indispensable institution in the bid to reduce crime in the society. On the basis of imprisonment policy, the Nigerian Prisons Service was established to manage criminals in prison yards. These constitutional functions empower the prison operatives to:
- Keep convicted offenders (prisoners) in safe custody
- Keep awaiting trial inmates in custody, until law courts demand their production
- Punish offenders as prescribed by the law courts
- Reform the convicted prisoners
- Rehabilitate and re-integrate prisoners who have completed the sentences in the prison. (Hannah, 2012)
Inferring from the above, the main aim of establishing the prison institution in all parts of the world including Nigeria is to provide a rehabilitation and correctional facility for those who have violated the rules and regulations of their society. However, the extent to which this maxim is true in practice has been a subject of controversy. Instances abound where the prisons have become a training ground for criminals instead of rehabilitation home in Nigeria (Obioha 2011).
Prison Administration is a complex dynamics of various divisions or units that provide a range of services in the management of prisons. Such services may include policy formulation and implementation, finance and budgeting, personnel management and operations and such others. (Aina, 2010). Prison Administration is further executed by other institutions of government who are co-players in ensuring a holistic management of the prison system. Such institutions include the police which are saddled with the responsibility of arresting, investigating, interrogating and prosecuting an offender
However, the worry about the manifestation that Nigerian Prisons Service has not lived up to expectation in terms of impacting positively on the lives and vocations of inmates has raised several questions that have not yet been completely addressed on the system’s functions and existence.
Invariably, all of these issues cannot be isolated from the dynamics involved in prison administration in Nigeria which is characterized by the system failure identified with the key players such as the police and the judiciary, which are saddled with collaborative roles in achieving effective prison administration.
With these key players generally being indicted of corruption and the Nigeria police specifically being alleged of ineptitude especially as regards investigations of cases, the judiciary also being accused of perennial delay in criminal trials as well as the Nigeria Prisons Service itself being undermined by shortcomings such as undue political interference, inadequate facilities, irregular and inadequate training for staff and inmates, in fact, the effectiveness of the Nigerian prison system might have been eroded (Emeka, 2011).
The drive to re-position the Nigerian Prisons Service for an improved service delivery in concert with other key players involved in prison administration in Nigeria has therefore necessitated this study.It is against this background that this study is considered pertinent in order to inquire into prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria with a particular reference to Nigerian Prison Service, Agodi Gate Ibadan
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The prison system is an integral component of the whole process of criminal justice system and crime prevention. The main aim of establishing the prison institution in all parts of the world including Nigeria is to provide a rehabilitation and correctional facility for those who have violated the rules and regulations of their society. However, the extent to which this maxim is true in practice has been a subject of controversy. Instances abound where the prisons have become a training ground for criminals instead of rehabilitation home in Nigeria (Obioha 2011)
Issues have been raised on security of lives and property of the citizens, safe custody of inmates, prison congestion, unavailability of detainees in court resulting in adjournment of cases, unhygienic and dilapidated prison environment sometimes resulting in epidemics ill treatment of inmates resulting in recidivism, low level of training on meaningful undertakings resulting into failure in rehabilitation of prisoners and proper integration into the society after prison terms (Ogunwumiju, 2013).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Generally, this study examines prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are to
- examine the objectives of establishing the Nigerian Prisons Service
- identify the relationship between effective prison administration and reduction in the occurrence of criminal activities in Nigeria
- investigate the challenges confronting the administration of Nigerian Prisons and its role in crime prevention in Nigeria; and
- Suggest recommendations towards improving the effectiveness of prison administration in Nigeria.
1.4. Significance of the Study
This study is highly significant in its intense concern with respect to the current rate of crime within the Nigerian societies. The study intends to reveal the nexus between effective prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria. Hence, the study will endeavour to probe into the challenges facing the Nigerian prison service and possible solutions would be suggested.
Also, the study will advance the frontiers of knowledge in the area of profound impact which the prison system exerts on the security of lives and properties of the citizens and reformation of the prisoners as orchestrated not only by the Nigerian Prisons Service but also other collaborative institutions.
The study will be beneficial to security agencies especially the officers of `Nigerian prison service, the general readers and future researchers who may be interested in this kind of research study
1.5. Scope of the Study
This study covers the prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria with its scope limited to Nigerian Prison Service, Agodi Gate Ibadan. Therefore, the investigation of this study will restricted to the members of staff of the Nigerian Prison Service,Agodi Gate Ibadan
1.6. Statement of Hypotheses
Ho: Effective prison administration is not one of the viable instruments of crime control and prevention in Nigeria
Hi: Effective prison administration is one of the viable instruments of crime control and prevention in Nigeria
Ho: There is no meaningful relationship between effective prison administration and reduction in the rate of criminal act in Nigerian societies
Hi: There is meaningful relationship between effective prison administration and reduction in the rate of criminal act in Nigerian societies
Ho: Inadequate facilities and poor training are not factors seriously affecting effective prison administration and rehabilitation of prisoners in Nigeria.
Hi: Inadequate facilities and poor training are factors seriously affecting effective prison administration and rehabilitation of prisoners in Nigeria.
1.7. Limitations to the Study
The Researcher is likely to encounter certain problems in the course of conducting the research work, some of which may be
Every good and successful research work requires sufficient funds as it will involve several activities and process. However, this research work may face the problems of finance as a result of the little financial resources available to the Researcher.
The institution has specified the time for the conduct of the research work, this specified period of time may not be enough for the conduct of the research work and this may limit the scope of the research work.
Problem of Data Collection
This may also pose threat to the research work because most people always feel reluctant to give out required information due to ethics of secrecy in public organization. Public officers are not always willing to give out information based on the principles guiding them
1.8. Definitions of Operational Terms
Prison refers to any officially designated place usually fortified for the purpose of confinement of persons considered guilty of offence in order to punish, correct and rehabilitate such persons.
Administration implies the process of coming together of two or more people to achieve a predetermined objective. It is a process of getting things done through people.
Crime is any act or behaviour which violates the norms (normative behaving) of a society
Crime prevention is a process or measure put in place by the government in order to reduce the occurrence of criminal behaviour in the society
A criminal is a person who has been convicted to have violated the rules, laws or norms of the society