NCos warns against segregation of ex inmates
By: Joseph Ephraim
The Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, has urged members of the public to desist from rejection and segregation of ex inmates who have served their legal term.
The Controller of the Service in Cross River State, Barr S.D. Kinane, made the call when the executive members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River Council, paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Friday.
He said that it is stated in the Constitution as an offense for anyone to reject, segregate or discriminate a former inmate who has completely served his legal term, noting that the said ex inmate is a free man.
“They wear toga of stigmatization having passed through the prison walls and they are faced with outright rejection. When they face rejection and segregation from the society, what they do is that they deliberately commit crime just to come back. So, once we discharge these our brothers/sisters into the society after serving their legal terms, they are not worth rejection. Receive them, accept them because they have been there for several years, they may have developed hysterical neurosis to the extend that their mindset sometimes become nebulous to appreciate the new system outside the prison walls. And therefore if you are hostile on them, the next thing they do is to attack even to the point of death so that they can come back. Once a person served his legal term, indeed he is a Freeman.
Reacting to the recent attack on the Abuja Custodial center, Kinane stressed that it was not a jail break rather it was an outside attack by miscreants who came to release their Confederates. He averred that the Controller General, Haliru Nababa, is on top of the matter and he’s putting everything in place to ensure that such occurrence never come up again.
Kinane thanked the NUJ members for the visit, saying that it is rare that men of the 4th estate of the realm of governance will go around to meet organizations in order to intertwine and establish a symbiotic relationship in order to advance the course of humanity including security which is key and is the business of everybody.
He said that the synergy between the media and the service could not be over emphasied, adding that the society had a very wrong impression about the service which is “Lock and Kill” but he informed that it goes beyond the customarily custodial activity because the service has moved into Reformation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of already processed inmates, ready for reentry or reintegration into the society.
According to the controller, many positive developments had evolved in the service with the new name, reiterating that there’s a paradigm shift from punitive to correctional and rehabilitation center while boasting that many inmates are now high school graduates up to masters degree.
Earlier, Comrade Nsa Gill, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Cross River Council, who led his executive members commended the controller for the warmth reception, disclosing that the leadership of the NUJ in the state is poised to see the country grow.
He said the aim of the visit was to introduce its new executive and to renew partnership with the service. He requested the correctional service to keep journalists abreast of its activities while assuring the service of professional news reportage.