Why we do these
WHY WE DO THESE
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