BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Prison is a place, especially a building or buildings bounded by high barriers where criminals or civil offenders/convicts are legally held in captivity, or strictly confined, either in jail or awaiting trial or being detained to allow for sufficient and effective investigation before the commencement of trial [F. Chukwudi 2002]. In pre-colonial Africa, in rare situations involving detention, offenders would be held for the purposes of attending their trial or awaiting the imposition of some other form of punishment. For example, Nigeria’s communities, like other societies, have assumed the responsibility of putting away deviant citizens and preventing them from doing further harm to the society by forcefully taking them to custodial centers.
A custodial center is also known as a correctional center where law offenders or individuals sentenced by court are placed till the end of the detention period.
In modern times, it serves as a reformative and correctional institution for offenders and has come to assume an integral part of society. It tries as much as possible to bring offenders into conformity with societal trends via the use of vocational training, moral guidance, counseling and other reformative measures. Correctional institutions are renowned for their responsibility of accepting, housing and reforming offenders, thus encouraging conformity in contemporary society.
The goals of modern custodial institutions in developed countries around the world have evolved to include not only the protection of society, but also retribution, deterrence, reformation, and rehabilitation of convicted prisoners (Abba & Mbagwu, 2016).
The Nigerian Prison Service (Custodial Service) is constitutionally responsible for the safe custody of offenders as well as their reformation, rehabilitation and re-integration. (Danbazzau, 2007) noted, that the rationale for imprisonment is evident in decree No 9 of 1972 which assigns the prison with the responsibilities among others to teach and train prisoners (inmates) to become useful and law abiding citizens on discharge.
However, recently, there has been an unprecedented attack on Nigeria’s correctional centers which led to the escape of numerous prisoners and detained law offenders. As a result, according to Sakari (2020), the act of prison break and other forms of attack on Nigeria’s correctional centers is a threat that, if not addressed immediately, will spawn other forms of precarious acts on Nigeria’s society.This troubling and perplexing development in the country sparked the focus of this research, which aims to investigate the causes and implications of the ongoing correctional center attacks in Nigeria.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The recent crisis in Nigeria has heightened national concern about the obvious attacks on Nigeria Correctional Centers, which have resulted in the mass escape of detained lawbreakers.According to John Mrabure (2021), these attacks are as a result of shirking responsibility for custodial offers and poor security service in the nation. However, this scenario has resulted in the escape of dreadful prisons into society, which is thought to result in a higher crime rate.This therefore has imposed a humungous fear and burden upon Nigeria’s government and its citizens as the government and the security sector are void of solutions.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study is set to examine the causes and implications of the recent wave of attacks on Custodial Centers of the Nigeria Correctional Service as a result of poor security service. Specifically, it is set to;
1. Determine the predictable factors behind recent attacks on Nigeria Custodial Centers.
2. Identify the implications of prison breaks in society.
3. Examine whether the recent Federal Government Red Zone decree for Custodial Centers is the best way to reduce attacks on Custodial Centers.
The following questions guilds this study:
1. What are the predictable factors responsible for recent attacks on Nigeria Custodial Centers?
2. What are the implication of prison breaks in the society?
3. Is the recent Federal Government “Red Zone” decree of Custodial centers environment the best way to curb the attacks on Custodial centers?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will heighten the need for national security improvement and will as well enlighten the government on the possible causes and solutions to the recent attacks on custodial centers in the country. Furthermore, this study will also be useful to students, researchers etc who in their respective fields of study may likely carryout a research epistle similar to the one under review.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is specifically focused on identifying the predictable factors responsible for recent attacks on Nigeria Custodial Centers; identifying the implication of prison breaks in society; and determining whether the recent Federal Government Red Zone decree of Custodial Center Environment is the best way to curb attacks on Custodial Centers.Hence, this study is delimited to the national custodial center in Owerri Imo state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major constraints of this study include language barriers, respondent attitudes, financial constraints, and time constraints, as the researcher had a limited time frame to complete this study.
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
National Security: National security or national defence is the security and defence of a nation state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government.
Custodial Center: A place where lawbreakers are forced to live after their freedom has been revoked.Reformation and rehabilitation of victims also takes place there.
Attack: This is the act of taking aggressive action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force.