Nigerians have been advised to accept freed ex-prison inmates back into the society without suspicion as they have been made to go through reformatory and rehabilitation programmes that have made them no longer dangerous.
The advice was given by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Oluwatoyin Akinlade during a familiarization tour to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Headquarters in Abuja.
She said that the public should welcome and accept ex-offenders, stressing that the inmates have gone through various reformatory and rehabilitation programmes while in custody there-by making them changed and better citizens.
She expressed satisfaction on Inmates welfare particularly their mental health while in custody and the vocational skills programme which gives them good sense of belonging.
She said “my dream for Nigerian Correctional Service is, no offender will go back the same or worse,” while expressing satisfaction on the reformatory and rehabilitation programmes of inmates which help them to be self-employed upon discharged.
Akinlade charged the public to stop stigmatizing ex-offenders; saying rather they should assist in their re-integration to the society as they have a lot to offer to the development of the society.
She said Correctional Staff are doing a lot to see that inmates don’t go back to the society the same way they came, she enjoined members of the public to complement the efforts of NCoS.
Akinlade also said she is passionate about Correctional Service and appeal to the management and Staff to cooperate with her to achieve great height and pledged to put in her all to ensure that the service is well recognized globally.
She called on the Service to blow their trumpets and publicize its activities to the world through documentaries and TV shows so that the society can appreciate and support their efforts.
The PS also promised to promote staff welfare in other to get the best out of them, stressing that ‘’welfare for the inmates, welfare for the staff, let’s start with the staff. If you don’t take care of the Correctors, you will not get Corrections, no morals- no result.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa enumerated the challenges and prospects of the Service. He reiterated his commitment to the welfare of both inmates and staff.