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1.1     Background of the study

A prison is a place/space used to confine criminal or people convicted or awaiting trial. It includes the land, the house and every other structure located within the institution used for the purpose of detention. This led to the establishment of the first prison administration modeled on British tradition, and staffed by officers trained in the same tradition when the then Governor, H.S. Freeman, in 1862, was commissioned, inter-alia, to appoint judges and other officers. Hence, the Broad Street Prison was built in Lagos in 1872, but the prison ordinance providing for the establishment of prison was passed along with the Supreme Court ordinance in 1876. Therefore, the prisons administration in Nigerian started in 1876, when the prison ordinance came into force. But, from 1876 to 1920, the police department ran it. However, by 1920, the police ceased to be in-charge of prisons administration in Nigeria.

Prison Decree number 9 of 1972 governs the creation of a prison in Nigeria, and sections 2 (1) and (11) state that:

•                      The commissioner may, by orders in the Federal gazette, declare any building or place in Nigeria to be a prison, and by the same or subsequent orders, specify the area for which the prison is established.

•                      Every prison shall include:

a)                    The ground and buildings within the prison enclosure.

b)                   Any lock-up house for the temporary detention or custody of prisoners newly apprehended or those under remand which is declared by the Commissioner, by order in the Federal Gazette, to be part of the prison.

A prison is a place delimited and declared as such by the law of the state and created to ensure restrained and custody of individuals accused or convicted of violating the criminal laws of the state. That is to say, civil prisoners and debtors, prisoners-of-war and state detainees, are also received and kept in the prison.

For the purposes of administration, there are five classes of prisons in Nigeria today, namely:

•                      Convicted prisons,

•                      Divisional prisons,

•                      Provincial prisons,

•                      Lock-ups,

•                      Prison camps.

The Nigerian Prison Services (NPS) is an indispensable Department of the Federal Ministry of Interior and is headed by a ComptrollerGeneral of prisons. The Nigerian Prisons Service is administered by the Custom, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (hereinafter) referred to as the (C.I.P.B) located at Gwagwalada in Abuja. It was established by the CIPB Decree No. 14 of July 11, 1986 and inaugurated by Col. John N. Shagaya, the then Honorable Minister of Internal Affairs, now known as Ministry of Interior (and Chairman of the CIPB) on October 17th 1986. However, right from the inception of the board, there seems to be palpable disenchantment among officers and men of the Nigeria Prisons Services due to cases of prison congestion, inadequate funding of prison, flaw on the extant prison laws, and lack of rehabilitative and correctional equipment in the Nigeria prison.

Prison Administration is a complex dynamics of various divisions or units that provide a range of services in the management of prisons. Such services may include policy formulation and implementation, finance and budgeting, personnel management and operations and such others. (Aina, 2010). Prison Administration is further executed by other institutions of government who are co-players in ensuring a holistic management of the prison system. Such institutions include the police which are saddled with the responsibility of arresting, investigating, interrogating and prosecuting an offender. However, the worry about the manifestation that Nigerian Prisons Service has not lived up to expectation in terms of impacting positively on the lives and vocations of inmates has raised several questions that have not yet been completely addressed on the system’s functions and existence. Invariably, all of these issues cannot be isolated from the dynamics involved in prison administration in Nigeria which is characterized by the system failure identified with the key players such as the police and the judiciary, which are saddled with collaborative roles in achieving effective prison administration.

With these key players generally being indicted of corruption and the Nigeria police specifically being alleged of ineptitude especially as regards investigations of cases, the judiciary also being accused of perennial delay in criminal trials as well as the Nigeria Prisons Service itself being undermined by shortcomings such as undue political interference, inadequate facilities, irregular and inadequate training for staff and inmates, in fact, the effectiveness of the Nigerian prison system might have been eroded (Emeka, 2011).

The drive to re-position the Nigerian Prisons Service for an improved service delivery in concert with other key players involved in prison administration in Nigeria has therefore necessitated this study. It is against this background that this study is considered pertinent in order to inquire into prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria with a particular reference to Nigerian Prison Service, Agodi Gate Ibadan.

1.2     Statement of the problem

The prison system is an integral component of the whole process of criminal justice system and crime prevention. The main aim of establishing the prison institution in all parts of the world including Nigeria is to provide a rehabilitation and correctional facility for those who have violated the rules and regulations of their society. However, the extent to which this maxim is true in practice has been a subject of controversy. Instances abound where the prisons have become a training ground for criminals instead of rehabilitation home in Nigeria (Obioha 2011)

Issues have been raised on security of lives and property of the citizens, safe custody of inmates, prison congestion, unavailability of detainees in court resulting in adjournment of cases, unhygienic and dilapidated prison environment sometimes resulting in epidemics ill treatment of inmates resulting in recidivism, low level of training on meaningful undertakings resulting into failure in rehabilitation of prisoners and proper integration into the society after prison terms (Ogunwumiju, 2013).

1.3     Objectives of the study

The broad objective of the study is to conduct an investigation into the prison administration in Nigeria: A study Nigeria Prison. The specific objectives are as follows:

1.    To ascertain the extent to which prison congestion in Nigeria Prison poses a serious constraint to effective prison administration:

2.    To find out the extent funding has affected on the administration of Nigeria Prisons.

3.    To ascertain the extent to which the Nigerian extant laws on Prisons have impacted on the administration of its prisons.

4.    To verify the extent to which lack of rehabilitation and correctional equipment in Nigeria prison headquarters constitutes a constraint to rehabilitation of inmates.

1.4     Research questions

1.    What is the extent to which prison congestion in Nigeria Prison pose serious constraint to effective prison administration?

2.    What is the extent to which funding has affected on the administration of Nigeria Prisons?

3.    What is the extent to which the Nigerian extant laws on Prisons have impacted on the administration of its prisons.

4.    What is the extent to which lack of rehabilitation and correctional equipment in Nigeria prison headquarters constitutes a constraint to rehabilitation of inmates.

1.5     Hypothesis of the study

Ho1: The congestion in Nigeria Prisons does pose constraint to the effective prison administration.

Ho2: Inadequate funding of prisons by federal government does not constitute an impediment to effective administration of Nigeria Prison.

Ho3: Inadequate funding of prisons by Federal government constitutes an impediment to effective administration of Nigeria Prison.

Ho4: The Nigeria extant laws on prisons have not impacted negatively on the administration of Nigeria prisons.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This study is highly significant in its intense concern with respect to the current rate of crime within the Nigerian societies. The study intends to reveal the nexus between effective prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria. Hence, the study will endeavour to probe into the challenges facing the Nigerian prison service and possible solutions would be suggested.

Also, the study will advance the frontiers of knowledge in the area of profound impact which the prison system exerts on the security of lives and properties of the citizens and reformation of the prisoners as orchestrated not only by the Nigerian Prisons Service but also other collaborative institutions.

The study will be beneficial to security agencies especially the officers of Nigerian prison service, the general readers and future researchers who may be interested in this kind of research study

1.7     Scope of the Study 

This study covers the prison administration and crime prevention in Nigeria with its scope limited to Nigerian Prison Service, Agodi Gate Ibadan. Therefore, the investigation of this study will be restricted to the members of staff of the Nigerian Prison Service, Agodi Gate Ibadan.

1.8     Limitations

This study was limited by a number of factors. The researcher is faced with time constraint, impact study required long period of time to gather data. This is not at the disposal of the researcher as the project audience may falsify data or out rightly refuse to participate in the study.

However, these constraints did not hamper the success of the study. There is lack of data base, scarcity of books on prison administration. Other limitation includes difficulty in volunteering information.

1.9     Definitions of Operational Terms

·         Prison: Prison refers to any officially designated place usually fortified for the purpose of confinement of persons considered guilty of offence in order to punish, correct and rehabilitate such persons.

·         Administration: Administration implies the process of coming together of two or more people to achieve a predetermined objective. It is a process of getting things done through people.

·         Crime: Crime is any act or behaviour which violates the norms (normative behaving) of a society.

·         Crime Prevention: Crime prevention is a process or measure put in place by the government in order to reduce the occurrence of criminal behaviour in the society

·         Criminal: A criminal is a person who has been convicted to have violated the rules, laws or norms of the society

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