“Although we can all agree that incarceration is sometimes necessary for public safety in our work to protect the American people, we must recognize that incarceration alone does not provide the entire solution. Simply building more prisons and jails will not solve all of our problems. Any effective and economically sustainable public safely strategy must include investments that will help reduce recidivism and to address the root causes of crime.” Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General
PROPOSED INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY CENTRE IN KADUNA BORSTAL INSTITUTION, KADUNA, NIGERIA.
The institution has over 400 juveniles from across the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. CURE-Nigeria is seeking partnership and support to build and equip this centre.
All rights reserved. This project is an original idea of CURE-Nigeria. No one is allowed to replicate any part of it without permission.
The pictures below show the designs of the centre.
Information Communication Technology has not only become a household issue globally, thus making the world a global village but is also used in almost every aspect of life – Engineering, Law, Administration, Economy, War, Security, Agriculture, Transportation, and Media etc. Hence, ICT skills are highly valuable assets and very lucrative too, making ICT experts more favourable for job placements or for business transactions. In Nigeria, for example, ICT has become a compulsory course of study in all secondary and tertiary institutions in order to prepare students to compete at par with their counterparts from highly industrialized nations in the global village.
However, the Nigerian Prison Service is lacking in the adequate training of detainees, prisoners and juveniles in ICT who are detained in the prisons and other detention institutions across the country. Consequently prisoners are not reformed, rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, resulting to high level of recidivism, reoffending, unemployment and unemployability, high crime rates and other social vices.
Therefore, the proposed Centre would fill the gab and would help create an enabling environment that is needed for socio-economic growth and development and business for both the private and public sectors.
Our goals are:
- To build and equip an ICT Centre in Kaduna Borstal Institution
- To train juveniles in conflict with the law in web design and development, data base development/management, animation, programming languaging, networking, hardware repairs and graphic design, etc.
- To enroll them for ICT professional examinations, be awarded certificates
- Help them find work, start their own businesses or pursue further studies in ICT after release from prison.
Beneficiaries/Potential Impact and Scale Up:
The project is expected to benefit about 50 youths in Kaduna Borstal Institution every year. Thus, the total number expected to be trained in five years would be 250. The implication being that 250 youths, who would have been unemployed and unemployable after their jail terms, will benefit from the project and some will become employers in their ventures in the nearest future. For instance if 200 (two hundred) rehabilitated juveniles in ICT set up ICT businesses and each of these employs at least 5 (five) other unemployed Nigerians, a total number of 1000 (one thousand) people would have been employed in Nigeria, contributing significantly to economic growth and reducing unemployment and its attendant consequences on the Nigerian economy.
Also, the project will have direct and indirect beneficiaries. The direct beneficiaries are the 250 juveniles, while the indirect beneficiaries are the 1000 (one thousand) expected to be employed by the direct beneficiaries. But other indirect beneficiaries are family members and society at large.
But with the creation of the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology, which has started to invest in ICT and the interest of the Nigerian Prison Service in the project, there is a high possibility that the project could be replicated to other juveniles insitutions and adult prisons in the country in the nearest future.
The Cause of the Problem and ICT Justification:
Due to the socio-economic, religious and political realities in Nigeria, combined with the lack of judicial reforms and corruption, there has been a growing prison population in the last ten years, a situation that has put enormous strain on the prison facilities, particularly in the urban areas. Prisons are holding far more than their designated capacities. Consequently, the few available reformation, rehabilitation and re-entry programs have also been overstretched and have become far less than adequate. As a result, the Nigerian Prison Service is no longer able to adequately perform its statutory role of reforming, rehabilitating and re-integrating prisoners into society, resulting in the current high rates of re-offending and recidivism. Also, many prison inmates leave the prisons far worse than they went in.
Two areas are critical in reducing reoffending and recidivism in every society. These are: education and re-entry/reintegration into family and society. And to reduce recidivism, offenders must have marketable job skills as they re-enter society. Providing offenders with good work-place skills will make them more attractive to employers and thereby increase their chances of obtaining and maintaining a job upon release.
In fact, from our visits to many prisons in Nigeria, rehabilitation programmes in prisons are only designed to provide inmates with basic skills in carpentry, shoe making, tailoring, and hairdressing. While these are commendable, the present realities indicate that they are inadequate in sustaining ex-prisoners, most of whom have no family support. So, they soon abandon the trade, sell their tools and return to crime. The proposed ICT Centres will go beyond basic skills and will provide an answer to failure to reform, rehabilitation and reintegrate prisoners in Nigeria.
Project Objectives and Anticipated Results:
- To train juveniles in conflict with the law in ICT, provide them with opportunities to get an education have quality access to counselling before they are released from prison
- For those who are trained in ICT, the Centre will help them get jobs, set up their business or purse further studies, while others will enroll for Senior Secondary School, West African Examination Council and Joint and Matriculation Board examinations to gain admission into tertiary institutions upon release from prison.
- To help juveniles earn some income while in prison to ease their rehabilitation and reintegration upon release. The income will come from the entrepreneurial activities of the Centre, and the profits will be shared between the Centre and the juveniles involved in the works.
The proposed ICT Centre will have four sections: a computer laboratory, a library with a large reading area, a counseling section and a clinic. The library will also be used as a class room for teaching of other subjects, and for examinations and other educational purposes that are appropriate to their educational needs.
- ICT classes according to the curriculum
- Counselling sessions with the Counsellor or psychologist
Teach English, Mathematics and other secondary school subject
- Prepare them for Senior Secondary School, West African Examination Council and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board examinations for entrance in tertiary institutions
- Classes on general health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and visit to the clinic
- Business activities to support the Centre and raise income for the juveniles. People from the community will bring businesses such as printing, design, etc to the Centre.
The Centre will be donated to the Federal Government (Nigerian Prison Service), who will provide the funds, through annual budgetary allocations, to maintain and sustain it. But CURE-Nigeria will continue to support the Centre. It is also expected that families of the beneficiaries will support the Centre. Also, the centre is expected to generate funds through business activities such as photocopying, typing, printing and design, web design, etc. These incomes will be used for general maintenance and payment of stipends to juveniles who are engaged in the work and to support instructors’ salaries. In addition, the trained juveniles will also be hired to train people in other places where ICT education is needed and the income will be shared between the juvenile and the Centre. So, an account will be opened in the name of each juvenile where his savings are kept for save keeping until his release from the Centre. It is important to mention here that his involvement in teaching outside the prison will help in the social dimension of his rehabilitation and reintegration process as he will relearn social norms, build relationships outside the prisons and self-confidence before his actual release from prisons. Finally, it is expected that some parents of these children would support the Centre.
The Centre will help graduates of the Centre to gain employment, do industrial training in some corporate and government organisations or start business of their own, depending on the circumstances and needs of each person.
The project will be evaluated by the number of students that will be trained. The level of skills they acquire will be evaluated through internal examinations (both practical and theory) and external and internationally acceptable professional examinations. Moreover, the success of our program will be evaluated by the employability of our graduates, the number of our graduates who would eventually become entrepreneurs in IT industry and those who will proceed for further studies in IT fields. To ensure that our graduates always meet the market needs, we shall periodically evaluate and update our curriculum, retrain instructors, evaluate and revise our methodology. The social impact of the project is that the prisoners will be gainfully employed thereby facilitating social reintegration and reducing recidivism. The experience gained and lessons learned in successfully implementing the project in one prison will enable us expand the project to other prisons and will also generate interest in other stakeholders to support our future expansion of the project to other prisons.
- Recidivism and crime rates will reduce
- Juvenile offenders, most of whom have no education and no skills and would have remained unemployed and unemployable after release from prison, will get employment, while others will establish their businesses and others will pursue further trainings
- Juveniles will gain admission into tertiary institutions after release from prison
- The Centre will create employment for trainers, teachers and other professionals in the counselling section and the clinic
- The clinic will improve the physical, mental, psychological and general in the prison to the benefit of the inmates, prison staff and the local community and help reduce the high rates of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis infections in the prisons, which affect the general society.