The medium Correctional Centre, in Akure the Ondo State capital has graduated 120 inmates trained in paint and painting making.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the inmates, the Deputy Comptroller of Corrections, Medium Centre, Akure, Charles Oyewumi said the main aim of establishing custodial institutions across the world, including Nigeria, is to provide rehabilitation and correctional programmes for those who violated laws of their society.
Oyewumi, who congratulated the inmates, admonished them to make good use of what they learnt while in incarceration.
He explained that the weeks training was sponsored by Anchor Heritage Initiative, a non-governmental organisation.
He said: “About 120 of our inmates underwent a training in paint and paint making and today they are graduating, this is just to let us know that life in remand is not a waste, that something better can still come out of them and obviously as we can see, all the walls here have been painted by the inmates with the same paint they made by themselves.
“We can’t do it alone. I am also using this opportunity to call on other NGOs that those who are under incarceration, they still have hope, they should come to our assistance so that we can partner together to make lives of our inmates better, whenever they get back to the society”.
Oyewumi stressed that the correctional centre has an aftercare programme to set up the after leaving the facility.
“One of team members of the NGO that sponsored this training was formerly in one of our custodian centres and his is now their ICT manager, managing their cameras, their pictures and everything. So that is a typical example from them to show others that they should not loose hope”.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of the correctional centre, Oyewole Adedayo, said aside its statutory role of keeping in safe custody of inmates, it is also saddled with the responsibility of rehabilitation.
The Director of Operations Anchor Heritage Initiative, Bidemi Oladipupo, said it has trained 1,386 inmates across the 13 prisons in South West and North Central states of Nigeria.
He said: “There is need for training in the Nigerian prisons and we could fill in the gap so that when these people are finally out in the society, they could be useful to themselves, useful to their family and useful to the society at large. So it’s just an idea of rehabilitating them and we are using empowerment as a skill for that.
“This is the fifth year that Anchor Heritage has been in Operation and we’ve been able to do this across 13 prisons so far. Here we trained like 138 inmates but in entirety we have trained like 1,386”.