PFN Decries Dumping Of Inmates At Correction Centres
The Rivers State Chapter of the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has expressed and concern over the indiscriminate dumping of suspects at the Port Harcourt Correction Centre, which had led to outbreak of serious health challenges, congestion of inmates and environmental hazards.
State Chairman of the Fellowship, Apostle Collins Telema Briggs told this to our correspondent in Port Harcourt that the centre which was built to accommodate not more than 3,000 inmates now have 4,500 inmates, stressing that the facility needed total rehabilitation and upgrade.
Apostle Briggs, who is also the President of Word Explosion Centre, in prison ministry noted that the influx of inmates could be as a result of delay in dispensation of justice and improper investigation of suspects before they were taken to the centre many of them without trials.
Briggs said, “Quite a lot of people were there for years without trial because some of them do not know the offence they committed before they were brought into the correction centre”. He called on the government to urgently look into the situation and urged the Nigeria Police to properly investigate matters before suspects were charged to court.
He appealed to Magistrates and Judges to dispense of cases promptly to avoid unnecessary adjournments, adding that the authorities should pay more attention to the well-being of the inmates as justice delayed is justice denied.
The man of God said, “Prison is meant to correct the attitude of a person but when the capacity cannot contain the number of inmates, how do you correct the wrong attitude of that person,” and further appealed to the authorities to look into the issue many of innocent inmates are rusting away in the centre.
Apostle Briggs suggested that government should build facilities for the inmates to learn skills as a start-off point when they are out from prison, because sometimes they could no longer be accepted by so that they would not think of going back to the correction centres.
He asserted that government could collaborate and work together with PFN to help the inmates, their families and the offender to live a better life, pointing out that such would enable other youths to see crime as a no go area and should be avoided in its totality.