Deputy Controller of Prisons, in charge of Ikoyi Prisons, Lagos State, Mr Emmanuel Bamidele, has said that the prisons had not less than 10 workshops where inmates were acquiring vocational skills.
Bamidele explained that this would make them become self-reliant and self-employed after completing their jail terms.
“We have about 10 workshops taking care of various trades such as carpentry, soap making, catering, tailoring as well as barbing.
“We have quality liquid soaps produced by these inmates that could compete favourably with those made in any part of the world.
“All what we need is additional support as we shall soon commence marketing of some of the products in the country and outside the country,” he said.
With these centres situated in the prisons, most of the inmates have continued to show the zeal to continue their education, he said.
“With this development in place, we are not only carrying out reformation here, we are equally trying to rehabilitate them.
“At the same time, we are putting in place process that will aid their re-integration with the larger society on the completion of their jail terms,” he said.
He said that the prisons were equipping the inmates with skills that would make them become self-employed whenever after their prison terms.
The deputy controller then urged the public to continue to encourage the inmates to strive to attain academic excellence.
He said that this had become imperative as the inmates would become an integral part of the larger society on completion of their jail terms.
He said that they could equally make their meaningful contributions to the development of the country, irrespective of their current situations, if they should acquire relevant skills and education while still serving their jail terms.
Bamidele commended the government for introducing various reforms and programmes in the country’s prisons from which the inmates could benefit from.
“Gone are the days when the public normally looked down on the prisons as places for punitive measures. They are no longer place where are inflicted on their inmates.
“On the contrary, today’s prisons have become proper and genuine reformation centres and the inmates are equally encouraging us, the officials, to assist them in the best ways we can.
“Our major role is to continue to appeal to the public and other concerned persons to do more in encouraging these inmates to pursue their education or acquire relevant skills , even, while in prisons.
“We are grateful to government for giving us the platform where we can ensure the continuation of education for the inmates.
“We are equally grateful to all those who have been contributing voluntarily in one way or the other in ensuring that these inmates are provided with conducive environments for teaching and learning,” he said.
Bamidele, however, added that the prisons still need facilities like: e-library, books, teachers of core subjects as well as computers and its accessories- to encourage the continued education of the inmates.
The deputy controller said that the prisons currently had UTME, GCE and an Open University centres made possible by the leadership of those organisations.