Communication Technologies for Social Integration of Inmates in Nigeria

Communication Technologies for Social Integration of Inmates in Nigeria

Janet Aver Adikpo, Peter Iorper Ugondo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5975-7.ch009
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In recent years, political instability has resulted in the rising wave of unemployment, poverty rate, and insecurity, all which have attendant effect on the crime rate across Nigeria. Presently, the prison population is 68,259: a number which has soared from 44,450 in year 2000. Several reports on the activities of the Nigerian prisons services widely indicate that there is a disturbing crime rate. Going by these statistics, the focus of this chapter is on the use of communication technologies skills for rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society. Since communication technologies provide a unified learning process for knowledge sharing, prisoners need to have access to these new forms of information exchange. This clearly implies that inmates need info-communication skills to prevent recidivism. Using the backdrop of the Nigeria's prison terrain, the chapter recommends an overhaul of the prisons with a reliable information and communication framework.
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Despite that Nigeria has continued to grapple with hindrances, there are still prospects and the prisons authorities have continued to sue for the integration of inmates through skill-acquisition trainings in the area of furniture, soap-making, fabrication, aluminium and metal works, mechanised and non-mechanised agricultural practices, social entrepreneurship and several other business profiteering methods. These are the major ways through which the prisons services have continued reforms to rehabilitate and reintegrate inmates into the society (Asokhia & Agbonluae, 2013).

It is worthy of note that the Nigerian situation is one that is peculiar to most developing nations the world over, and to say the least, some developed economies also encounter some of these issues in their prison sector. The welfare of prisoners is primarily targeted towards preparing them to recuperate from the lifestyles that prompted them to commit crime in the first place, and in a lot more precise manner, enable them to fit back into the dynamic society. Even as there is no stated universal prison standards, the United Nations pronouncement of the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners2 using the provisions and core instruments of the human rights as a guiding principle. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2015), the pronouncement contained in the standard minimum rules for treatment of prisons have greatly influenced the advancement, guidelines and performance of prison management across nations. On the Africa continent, several attempts have been made by governments to improve on the conditions in the prisons, yet, a lot is still desired (Dissel, 2001; Sarkin, 2008; Allen, 2010; International Committee of the Red Cross, 2012; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Diffusion: A process through which ideas, information and knowledge spread in the social system.

Skill Acquisition: A process through which a prisoner attains mastery of the basics of a task with the aim to render service(s) for financial freedom.

Social Reintegration: A process through which a person who has been imprisoned gains freedom and returns to live among other members of the society.

Reintegration Tools: A technique used to enable an individual who been imprisoned fit in a social group or the social system as a whole.

Recidivism: A tendency that someone is has been convicted will commit the same crime, if not, a more serious one.

Info-Communication Skills: A means through which diffusion and information exchange is carried out.

Information Exchange: A process of sending and receiving information either physically or electronically and/or both.

Prison Population: The number of people who have been imprisoned for various forms of punishable crimes.

Information and Communication Technologies: A unified term used to refer to computer-based and telecommunication processes through which information is gathered, processed, shared, and stored.

Rehabilitation: Is rebuilding one’s character to improve their well-being and relevance to society.

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