The prevailing belief that individuals within the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) consistently emerge from custodial centers more hardened and worsened, either post-sentence or upon acquittal, is not entirely accurate. Contrary to this perception, some former inmates, when approached by our correspondents, attest to positive transformations,Daily Trust report.

While acknowledging the inadequate state of Nigeria’s detention facilities, marked by overcrowding and prolonged pre-trial detentions for minor or major offenses, it is crucial to recognize instances where inmates, with governmental support, undergo reform and subsequently view their incarceration as a transformative experience.

Reported by Daily Trust Saturday, a number of ex-inmates, previously devoid of skills and education, return from confinement equipped with valuable skills, contributing positively to societal development.

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For instance, Zakariya Mohammed Dankade, formerly sentenced to six years for a rape case, entered prison without skills and minimal education. However, encouraged by the custodial facility’s deputy controller, Mr. Christopher Peter Jen, Dankade embraced vocational training programs. His journey into shoemaking and bag crafting during his six-year term at the Billiri Custodial Centre became a turning point. Today, Dankade runs a successful business, earning between N3,000 and N5,000 daily, with plans to expand his enterprise and advocate for skill acquisition.

Abdullahi Ibrahim, having spent over a decade in a Kano prison, used his time to perfect his Quranic memorization, learn carpentry, and ultimately better himself. Despite the challenges, Ibrahim considers his transformation during incarceration a positive outcome.

Chinedu Eze, wrongfully imprisoned for 14 years before acquittal, views his time in prison as an opportunity for personal growth. Starting from scratch, he pursued education, earning distinctions and scholarships, leading to a B.Sc and M.Sc. Additionally, Eze authored seven books and composed 157 gospel songs. His experience motivated him to manage a rehabilitation center, aiding inmates’ needs.

These stories highlight the potential for positive change within the correctional system, emphasizing the importance of skill acquisition, education, and rehabilitation. The Nigerian Correctional Service’s efforts in providing inmates with opportunities for academic and vocational training, as mentioned by the NCoS Public Relations Officer Umar Abubakar and Education Desk Officer Adikwu Owoicho, signify a commitment to reforming lives and fostering self-sufficiency among those in custody.


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