The Director-General of Prison Rehabilitation Mission International (PREMI), Bishop Kayode Williams, has commended the presidential assent to the Nigeria Correctional Services Act.
According to him, there is a powerful force behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s action, particularly the renaming of the Nigerian Prisons Service to Nigeria Correctional Service.
“Prison doesn’t reform people, they will tell you their duty is to reform. How will they reform?” the clergyman questioned on Thursday during his appearance on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily.
He said, “When you talk of prison, prison is confinement where people are kept for custody and if you look at the crest of the prison service, you will see keys as their symbol – two keys which show that the main target of the prison officers is to open and lock a prisoner.
“When you talk about correctional service, you want to educate the people. You don’t just lock them, keep them there; you want to reform them, you want to change their way of life before, you sincerely want to believe that these people can become productive. Because it is no more prison now, I am a happy man today.”
Bishop Williams, however, said the implementation of the Act should not just be about the change of name but affect the operations of the service as a whole.
He noted that he was once in Netherlands and Poland where prisons were closed down and turned into “a five-star hotel”.