The Presidential Committee on Correctional Reform and Decongestion in Nigeria has released about 122 Children from the Borstal Training Institute, Ilorin, Kwara State in North Central Nigeria.
Out of those released, 2 Children who performed excellently in their West Africa Examination Council’s examinations were given education Scholarship award to Tertiary Institution by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The Committee led by its Chairman, Retired Justice Ishaq Bello ordered the release of the children during their visit to the Institute.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director Information, Ministry of Justice, Modupe Ogundoro, the purpose of the visit was to lead a Technical Team to conduct an on-the- spot assessment and condition of the Juveniles in the Institution.
“The Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration of UNODC and UNICEF deployed a Technical Team of 10 persons to the Borstal Institute, Ilorin.
The Team assessed a total of 225 students of the Institution,” the statement read.
The Acting Director, Administration of Criminal Justice and Reform/ Secretary to the Committee, Mrs.
Leticia Ayoola-Daniels said that ”the visit to the Institute was aimed at providing psychological support to the assessed juveniles for proper re-integration into the society when released in the near future.
She said; “The Assessment Team comprised the staff of Federal Ministry of Justice, 2 UNODC staff from Vienna, 1 UNICEF, who were all very passionate about the assignment, assessed quite a number of children.
According to her, the children that are released would undergo re-unification with their families and post-monitoring for an effective reintegration which could be achieved through the support of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Kwara State, UNICEF, and other relevant Kwara State Justice Stakeholder Institutions.
Mrs Ayoola-Daniels also expressed appreciation for the dedication and commitment of all stakeholders towards the implementation of the juvenile Decongestion Program and expressed gratitude for the great support of UNODC and UNICEF in the actualisation of the programme.
The Controller of Corrections and Principal, Borstal Training Institute, Mrs.
Ishola Ola said that the mandate of the institution is primarily to ensure safe custody of the children.
She explained that ”while the boys are in custody, it is expected that they are reformed, rehabilitated and eventually returned to the society as positively changed individuals who should be useful to themselves and the society.
She further said that “during the period of reformation, the children are offered the opportunities of getting trained educationally and vocationally.
“They are placed in the appropriate level of conventional secondary school where they are availed the opportunities to pursue their education from secondary to Tertiary institutions as well as various skill acquisition,” she added.
At the end of the programme, both development partners in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Justice distributed some essential packs, mattresses, towels, antibacterial creams, educational books, writing materials and inspirational books for the boys at the Institute.
Prison Reform: Presidential Committee releases 122 Children