The Nigeria Correctional Service, formerly Nigerian Prisons Service, has sent an Save our Soul (SOS) message to the judiciary on the numerous cases of awaiting trial that had posed serious challenges to the service.
The Controller of Prisons, Nigeria Prisons Service (Correctional Service) Imo State Command Mr Chris Okoye, made this known when the Executive of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo Council paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Wednesday.
He noted that there are a lot of awaiting trial inmates in the Owerri command whose cases are minor and needed to be cleared in the law court and urged the judiciary and well meaning Nigerians to help out to decongest the centre.
Okoye thanked the NUJ members for the visit saying that no society can do without the media describing journalists as custodians of information.
He noted that the importance of synergy between the media and the service can not be over emphasised, adding that the society has a very wrong impression about prisons that need to be corrected by the media.
“The general perception about the prison is negative and in bad faith, it is nothing to write home about but the service know what they are doing.
“Through the media, the society will have a better understanding of what the new name stands for and the impact it has brought to the inmates.
“There is a great difference between the Nigeria Prisons Service and the Nigeria Correctional Service, which involves custodian and non-custodian activities,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the controller pointed out that with the new name a lot of changes had evolved in the service.
“The correctional centre has evolved a lot of changes with many correctional services put in place while other activities have been upgraded.
“We have improved the educational services where the inmates now obtain certificates to the level of Doctorate degrees.
“The counselling services are now well established with a team of psychologists and counsellors to better improve the psyche of the inmates and properly place them where they belonged.
“We have also improved the medical and welfare services as well as sporting activities to engage the inmates while staff training and retraining through attendance of various courses are ongoing.
“There are also vocational centres for skills acquisition for the inmates while these innovations from the new name have helped to check jail brakes and protests,” he said.
The State Social Welfare Officer, NCS, Mrs Chinyere Ogujiofor requested that amnesty and jail delivery be extended to Imo inmates whenever necessary as done in other states.
She said that it had been long the Imo inmates enjoyed amnesty from the government adding that such acts also help to discongest the prisons.
Earlier, Mr Chris Akaraonye, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo Council who led his executive members commended the controller of the correctional centre for the numerous achievements since he assumed office.
He said the NUJ was at the centre to introduce the executive and to renew partnership with the service as well as know how the new name had positively affected the centre.
He asked that the service keep the journalists abreast of its activities.
Akaraonye said the NUJ is a bridge between the government, organisations and the masses and have mapped out strategies to curb quackery in thier misdt.