The Chairperson of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Imo State Chapter, Dorothy Nnaji has urged officials of Nigeria Correctional Service to protect female inmates from sexual molestation.
Nnaji made the call when she paid a courtesy visit to the Controller of the Nigeria Correctional Service Centre in Imo State, Kingsley Njoku, in his office in Owerri, the state capital.
Nnaji emphasized on the dignity of the female Inmates and the need to ensure they were not violated while in custody.
She commended the command for their service to humanity and expressed indignation at the jailbreak that took place at the Owerri facility on 5th April 2021.
She condoled with the officers and men of the Imo Correctional Service and Imo people at large over the ugly incident and led all present to observe a minute silence for the souls lost during the jail break.
Nnaji stressed the need for the command to collaborate with NAWOJ for mass education and publicity of the activities of the centre, saying that it will go a long way in helping both organizations.
The NAWOJ boss further called for quick dispensation of justice and facilitation of speedy legal process, maintaining that this will help to decongest the correctional centre.
She also counseled the correctional centre to help in the reintegration and orientation of inmates as well as broker partnership with various institutions for the benefit of inmates.
Nnaji equally called for the promotion of the rule of law and humane treatment for inmates.
She seized the opportunity to invite the command to the event marking the International Day for the Girl-Child, saying that the event will create an avenue for female students who will be invited to interface and interact with women who have done well in their fields of endeavor.
The NAWOJ Chairperson emphasized on the need for synergy between the association and Prison Officers Wives Association (PROWA).
She said the synergy of both associations will help the cause of womanhood.
Responding, the Controller of Imo Correctional Service Centre, Kingsely Njoku, expressed delight over the NAWOJ visit, describing the incident of April 5th jail break as unfortunate.
He however said the centre has taken the incident in its strides and moved on.
According to him, they are trying to do what is expected of the correctional service, bearing in mind that the development of the society has much to do with quality service delivery of all stakeholders .
He added that the correctional service has come to take its own pride of place in security for the good of the society.
He further stated that, with the new name, (Correctional Service), they try hard to make sure that inmates turned new leaves before leaving the correctional centre.
Njoku pointed out that, they engage inmates in skill acquisition like: shoe making, tailoring, hair dressing and other skills.
He noted with delight that the inmates sew uniforms for officers, some are into laundry, thereby making them useful not only to themselves, but society at large.
Njoku further disclosed that, they have what is called after care service for inmates that have served out their terms.
According to him, ex-inmates are empowered by the Correctional Service with machines, depending on the inmate’s choice, adding that such assistance helps them move on in the society.
Njoku frowned at the way the society treats ex-convicts, pointing out that the stigma and rejection are some of the reasons they go back to crime and get convicted again.
The Imo Correctional Service boss disclosed that they are able to provide the after care service equipment for the inmates through the help of some NGOs and public-spirited individuals.
He called on people to support such initiative as it helps to reduce crime and speed up the ex-convicts turning new leaf.
He assured that female inmates are well taken care of and there is no congestion in their area.
Njoku revealed of the existence of a custodial Centre at Owerri Municipal Council, where people who committed minor offenses are kept.