In marking this year world prison fellowship day, a group of people operating under the aegis of Prison Fellowship of Nigeria, kwara state chapter has called on the people to always extend hand of fellowship to ex-prisoners in the society.
The group which is operating as a chapter of World Prison Fellowship International made the call through its state chairperson, Mrs. Adeola Ayano while addressing the Journalists after a rally, that was tagged “Justice Walk” around Ilorin metropolis yesterday.
While calling on people to stop stigmatization of ex-prisoners in the society said “every years, thousands of offenders are released from prison, most leave with hope of starting afresh and reconnecting with their families and communities but most time ex-offenders are often not released from stigma of society”
She, however said the transition of these ex-prisoners to the society is their organization priority and it is not been easy due to the fact that many of those ex-prisoners are people with low education or no education and this particular factor make it more difficult for them to seek employment.
“A lot of ex-convicts are not welcome back to the society, community does not give them a chance to start afresh, and this cruel attitude has made majority of the ex-convicts to go back to their ex-prisoners colleagues who gladly welcome them and they continue in their crime”
Mrs. Adeola also made it know that according to the National Institute of Justice, 80 percent of ex-offenders will be rearrested within five years of their released, adding that this is due to the fact that they are not properly follow up or counsel and reintegrated back to the society.
Also, speaking to the Journalists was the Publicity Secretary of the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria, Kwara State Chapter, Mr. Adeyinka Ajiboye who acknowledged the effort of some organizations like Covenant University in Nigeria and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN in reintegrating ex-prisoners into the society by visiting Correctional Center and giving counseling and little empowerment.
He, however appealed to the governments, private organizations and Individuals in the society to support Prison Fellowship of Nigeria in championing new life for ex-prisoners said “a person’s future can not be totally determined by his or her past” and urged people to always try and show ex-prisoners love in order to discourage them from reoffending.
Source: Nigerian Pilot