Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), Nigeria is a chapter of International CURE, an international organization. It began in 1972 in Antonio Texas, USA by Charles and Pauline Sullivan who organized families of prisoners and concerned citizens to go to the State legislature in Austin to work against the death penalty. In 1975, CURE moved to Austin and organized an annual convention. In 1985, CURE expanded to a national organization and established an office in Washington, DC.

And in 2001, CURE had its first international conference in New York City and was granted consultative status with the United Nations. There are about 35 state chapters of CURE in the United States, 25 country chapters in Africa, one in Asia, and one in Latin America. CURE has continued to organize international conferences every two years. The 4th took place at the United Nations in Geneva in 2009, while the 5th was at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, Nigeria, each bringing about 180 thousand human rights and prison reform advocates from more than 25 countries around the world. The 6th CURE World Conference will take place in 2013 in Asia.

CURE-Nigeria began in 2007 in Benin City, Edo State, and expanded to a national organization in 2009 with the opening of an office in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Vision, Mission & Values


To ensure that prisons are used only for those who MUST be incarcerated and that these people are given every opportunity to change their lives.


To advocate penal and prison systems that provide just consequences for criminal behaviours, respect the Rule of Law, human rights and dignity and promote the restoration of right relationship between victims, offenders and society.

Core Values

Justice, Fairness, Restoration, Rehabilitation & Reintegration.

Our Objective

To achieve criminal justice and prison reforms, minimal use of prisons, especially for juveniles and women; training, rehabilitation and reintegration of people in prison, and respect for the rights and dignity of people in prison and defend the rights and fundamental freedoms of all Nigerians


Membership of CURE-Nigeria is opened to all citizens who are genuinely concerned about the quality of administration of justice in Nigeria and wish to make contributions towards its re-positioning.


  • Training of magistrates, khadis, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and prison officials on the use of alternatives to incarceration and on suspects/prisoners rights so as to reduce the alarming prison population and protect the rights of suspects and prisoners.
  • Sensitization on best practices for criminal justice and prison systems actors.

This is aimed at involving the grass root and host communities of prisons in advancing justice and prison reforms and supporting the prison system.

Some of the practical steps here include:

  • Family-tracing
  • Victim-offender mediation
  • Intervention at police station
  • Visits to traditional, church leaders and individuals in host communities of prisons
  • Promotion of the use of restorative justice practices and ADR in settling disputes at the family and community levels

CURE-Nigeria has paid unannounced visits to many prisons in Nigeria to monitor human rights situation and the conditions of detention. The aim of these visits is not to find faults with the system, but rather to see things as they are and be in a better position to both challenge the system and to help it to improve.

Our focus here is to create awareness on the urgent need for penal reform. Some of the activities include:

  • Research and documentation
  • Public awareness campaigns through The Advocate, our electronic and print newsletter, radio and television programs
  • Legislative Advocacy
  • Conferences
  • Round Tables

The emphasis here is on support for prisoners, ex-prisoners, vulnerable youths and women, children in prison with their mothers and juveniles who are in conflict with the law.

We achieve this through:

  • Counseling
  • Job placements
  • Religious programs
  • Payments of fines
  • Legal representation
  • Family-Tracing
  • Transport services for released prisoners
  • Celebrations and entertainments in prisons
  • Interventions in providing some needs in prisons to improve prisoners and staff welfare
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