PRALARG INT'L. is the acronyms for Prisons Rehabilitation and Law Abiding Organization International, incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission under the companies and Allied Matter Act No 1, 1990 part C. It is a non-governmental, non-religious and non-ethnic organization with a view to enhancing respect for the rule of law, promote good practice, investigate and expose perceived human right breach, it is devoted to the rehabilitation of prisons inmates and reduction of crime through the promotion of good moral values using various strategies. The strategies include prisons rehabilitation, civic and moral education as well as public enlightenment about criminal cases in Nigeria. Other strategies are economic empowerment for the less privileged, Nigerian deported from overseas, alternative dispute resolution and human right protection, to mention but a few.
Pralarg became international organization following the registration of pralarg in the United State of America and recognized by the US government in March 2018.
WHO WE ARE
The organization is pioneered by Comrade Pralagian Akinwunmi Olayemi seasoned visionary, who is passionate about what the organization stands for with years of experience in prison matters. The organization also boast of an experienced, credible, talented and equally passionate individual within and outside the country who are professionals in the various field seen as relevant to the actualization of the vision and objectives of the organization with all of them exhibiting common traits of excellence and service to humanity. The organization was established in 2014 and has contributed and still contributing to achieving a crime free society with an enlightened populace.
Like many others, He is a product of the society; a society that does not think or care for her next generation. A society that does not believe in the social integration of young ones for a better tomorrow. Like many others, he was not enlightened to understand his responsibility as a good citizen and the implication of his actions, let alone his rights as guaranteed by the constitution. He only understood crime to be robbery, rape and murder. Just like any other member of the society, he has carelessly and ignorantly done many illegal things but in all, he didn’t see it as committing crime because most of his actions were hinged on the need to survive just like any other person which should be done smartly. The reality set in when he visited the Nigerian Prisons Service in August 2001. He realized that he was just fortunate to have escaped prosecution and possible incarceration because he has ignorantly or carelessly done many wrong things like those incarcerated. He discovered that a more than eighty percent (80%) of those in prisons across the country got there through ignorance or were simply victims of circumstances.
The CEO thought he couldn’t actualize the formation of an NGO before because most people told him setting up an NGO require a lot of money. It was a painful experience for him seeing what his inability causes the society since 2001; he witnessed a lot of young people being sentenced into prisons on daily bases as a result of their fear, ignorance and poverty. He started rendering free paralegal services and human right protection since then but his best was not enough. He was not motivated enough until he travelled on vacation to the UK in June/July 2014. He held meetings with some stakeholders in charity organization in the UK who encouraged him to take the bold step towards actualizing his zeal for the vulnerable people in the society. Since his return to Nigeria, he held the first stakeholders meeting in September 2014 to mark the takeoff of the organization with 15 members of the public. A resolution was adopted to first of all have the structure in place and formal registration of the organization with local authority before registration with the Federal Government.
The first on the list was the nomination of credible leaders in the society as PRALARG Board of Trustees. The following personalities were nominated as the chairman and members of the board. His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr) Jacob Omolade LAFA II, Olubara of Ibara as a Board Chairman; Mrs. Akinwale Folasade Controller of Prisons as Board member; Mrs. Arukwe F.U, Commandant Navy Secondary School as Board member, Mrs. Lawal M.A., State Coordinator Legal Aid Council as Board member; Mr. Akinwunmi Olayemi as Board Secretary, Alhaji Abdul Kabir Oyegunle Bakare and Evangelist Gabrel Ajao Idowu as Board members.
However registration of Prisons Rehabilitation and Law Abiding Organization (PRALARG) as a grassroots community-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Abeokuta South Local Government was concluded and a certificate of recognition dated 11 November 2014 We also proceeded to appoint members of Advisory Council, the list is still building up to accommodate more credible personalities both at home and abroad
The organization commences the registration process with the Corporate Affairs Commission immediately all members of the Board were completed. The certificate of incorporation dated the 11th February 2015 CAC, Abeokuta branch was received on 24th of February, 2015 signalling the formal recognition of PRALARG activities by the Federal Government. We appreciate all those that have contributed to PRALARG since we started. We have offices in UK, USA, Ogun State, Oyo State, Osun State and Ondo State. We hope to cover all the 36 state of the federation in no distance time.
WHAT WE DO
PRALARG areas of operation and intervention include:
- Prison Rehabilitation
- Human Right Protection
- Civic Education,
- Care and Empowerment
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- To organize and hold lectures in prisons nationwide on why inmates and the public should not take to crime.
- To reform and redirect the convicted from a life of crime to a path of rectitude.
- To organize lectures in primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions to discourage them from taking to crime.
- To empower the less privileged and enlighten them on the self-sustaining program.
- To defend the vulnerable and less privileged in the society from human right abuse.
- To resolve conflict through alternative dispute resolution and mediation to prevent litigation.
- To advocate for better prisons’ welfare, provide succour and encouragement to inmate both home and abroad.
- To enlighten and provide health information to inmates and discourage the use of hard drugs.
- To advocate for the better life for deportees and convicts in foreign countries.
- To help the crime victims to overcome depression for future empowerment
Pralarg advocates bringing relative peace to the society by reducing the influx of people to prison through human right protection, the enlightenment of the citizen and empowerment. We have to do this because of the present existence that encourages criminality and back to crime syndrome of the ex-inmate.
REORIENTATION OF INMATES
Despite its barbaric origins in the medieval dungeon and torture chamber, since the late 18th century, prisons have combined elements of punishment with elements of re-orientation. As the French philosopher, Michel Foucault put it, “punishment shifted over time from the discipline of the body to disciplining of the “soul”.
Reorientation of inmates is, therefore, the heartbeat of PRALARG; this is so because we believe that failure to do so will result in the inmates making the society a living hell on their discharge. This reorientation is aimed at preventing re-offending rather than being directed only at character reformation as it was in the past. This, the organization intends to achieve through rendering psychological, religious, educational and medical services to the inmates as well as donations to the Prisoner’s Welfare Fund (PWF).
REHABILITATION OF EX-CONVICTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES TO PREVENT INFLUX OF PEOPLE TO PRISONS
PRALARG is committed to providing the best possible opportunity for ex-convicts to make a new start in life upon their release, and the successful re-integration of ex-convicts into the society would depend largely on how ready the public accepts and supports them.
In this connection, the organization has been actively promoting public acceptance of and support for rehabilitated ex-convicts through public enlightenment and education.
Pointedly, we have organized publicity and public education activities to help the public better understand the needs and problems of rehabilitated offenders and to appeal for their support. These activities include special TV and Radio programmes, symposiums on employment of rehabilitated offenders, exhibitions, TV and Radio announcements in the public interest, the appointment of local celebrities and public figures as Rehabilitation Ambassadors etc.
Furthermore, ex-convicts do not only suffer stigmatization from the members of the public but they face other challenges like homelessness, joblessness, and lack of finance. This is so because many lose their jobs during the period of imprisonment, their wealth and properties to court fines and series of court adjournment.
As a result of these, Pralarg has established some channels which welcome and facilitate public involvement in the rehabilitation of the offenders. These include:
- Pralarg Rehabilitation Volunteer Group: This group provides the good opportunity for members of the public to be directly involved in the rehabilitation of ex-convicts.
- Employment Assistance: The organization advocates equal employment opportunities for rehabilitated ex-convicts and where appropriate the organization will also facilitate projects initiated by the non-government organization to employ rehabilitated ex-convicts.
- Collaboration with NGOs: Presently, many religious bodies and non-government social service agencies are working with us to help ex-convicts re-integrate into the community. These organizations through the employment of volunteers, social workers, peer counsellors, render counselling, employment, accommodation assistance, recreation and religious services for rehabilitated ex-convicts.
These are important because the risk of ex-convicts returning to crime will be drastically reduced.
The organization has several interventions to prevent the influx of people to prison through Alternative Dispute Resolution because conflict cannot be prevented but the best instrument is to use the positive input to prevent litigation. We have also prevented abuse of right by law enforcement agents using their offices to perpetrate several illegal arrest and extortion in Nigeria.
DISSEMINATION OF KNOWLEDGE AS IT PERTAINS TO RIGHTS AND DUTIES
This is another area Pralarg is so interested in and we have done much and are still doing more to educate the people on their rights and duties as citizens of Nigeria. This is paramount because many people who found themselves in prison did not actually commit a crime but because they are ignorant of their rights as citizens, they ended up being convicted. And ones ignorant of his or her duties as a citizen may lead such a person into committing an offence. Ignorance is said, is a dangerous disease and yet it is not an excuse in law.
On this note, Pralarg has devised various means of sensitizing and enlightening the public on their fundamental rights and their duties as citizens. That medium includes TV and Radio programmes, enlightenment in churches, schools, institutions, local governments, rural areas and during new member’s induction.
WHY WE DO IT
The Importance Of Prison Reforms Through Citizen Education & Empowerment cannot be overemphasized.
Most crimes committed in Africa are due largely to poverty and the lack of understanding of the implication of one’s actions. Our past acts when highlighted must have been influenced by sad memories, poverty, suffering, regret, lack of vision, lack of good counsellors, poor moral upbringing, selfishness, greed, bad leadership and lack of role model just to mention a few. These no doubt have largely influenced the way we acted and even the way we still act. Our experiences thereafter normally shape our characters and belief depending on which part of the fence you sit.
However, apart from that fact, POVERTY, IGNORANCE, FEAR and INSINCERITY are some of the major factors pushing most youth towards committing CRIME, many people also see crime as the LAST OPTION or an easy way out of poverty. Unfortunately, no one wants to do anything for free. Nobody is ready to assist others to succeed. We view those in the problem as an opportunity to milk them dry thereby inflicting more pain instead of reducing it. We are living in a society where even the little owned by the poor is forcefully taken away from him. Sadly, this is the way things are and it is clear that Africa is gradually sliding into a state of hopelessness unless something drastic and urgent is done to salvage the situation, this is the reason we started Pralarg.
PRESENT IMPLICATIONS OF IMPRISONMENT
The present prison condition in Nigeria is not reformatory, rather it aggravates the criminal tendency of the inmates that supposed to be reformed or take a new leave. Our experience has revealed major problems confronting prisons in Nigeria, these include:
(1.) Lack of CLASSIFICATION, non-violent inmate after prison experience usually comes out hardened.
(2.) Non-affordability of the criminal justice system in Nigeria. Most inmates and their families lose a lot of money during their prosecution. This makes the inmates come out hardened or fall back to crime in order to survive.
(3.) Stigmatization: This happens to both ex-convicts and anyone who has passed through prosecution in Nigeria. Whether convicted or discharged and acquitted, people stigmatize anybody that has passed through the prison; this makes it difficult for people to turn a new leave.
(4.) Employment: It is very difficult for ex-convicts to secure employment after discharge hence this makes most of the discharged inmates to fall back to crime.
(5.) Settlement: Many ex-convicts found it very difficult to find a place of abode after release from the prison and this makes lives miserable for them.
(6.) Contamination of Diseases and Infections: Due to the overcrowding in the prison, inmates contact diseases and infections.
(7.) Some inmates, because of restriction and harsh conditions in the prison get mentally derailed.
PRISONS AND SOCIETY
These two worlds have a lot to contribute to global peace, depending largely on the way we handle them. If we fail to help the vulnerable in the society, the prison will be flooded with inmates and lose its purpose and credibility. Likewise, if we fail to help or reform the inmates, then we should rest assured that on discharge, these set of people we have refused to reform will make the society a living hell. A greater percentage of those in prisons got there as victims of circumstances a lot awaiting trials. The fact still remains that if we do what we are supposed to do as a society and as individuals, many of them will not be there in the first place. We believe we needed to do something both for those incarcerated and the public in general in addressing some of these challenges including the knowledge and information gaps identified. The things we ignorantly and carelessly do but that is against the law it is said that there is no ignorance in law. Our passion for a change gave birth to PRALARG believe that the best time to act is NOW. ‘So long as any society has a system that lets people out of prison, it is in when they went in’-Erwin James
Making the world a peaceful place through enlightenment, rehabilitation and empowerment.
To reduce crime, discourage the use of hard drugs, alleviate poverty, prevent human right abuse, enlighten the populace on the implication of crime, rehabilitate the ex-inmates and their dependents so as to bring peace to our society, to provide counselling and support for crime victims and their families.
Motto: Step in the right direction.
Become a VolunteerPralarg Int'l says..... Join us to move the mountain in Africa and the world in general. Apply the form.
- Pralarg Reqruit Officer
- Administrators specialising in legal research
- Media Assistance
- Administrators - Generalists
- Parliamentary Ushers
- Cooperation and Management of aid