Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has said that he will be engaging the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) – formerly Nigerian Prisons Service – for the purpose of establishing Borstal institutions, Reformation homes for youth and juvenile offenders.
The move, he is said, is geared towards taking care of and rehabilitating youths who run foul of the law.
The development is coming at a time, the government is also engaging in series of training programmes for civil servants in the state. According to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Enlightenment, Prince Eze Ugochukwu, the training, which is being undertaken in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Procurement and Price Intelligence, has commenced with a series of first level procurement training for public officers involved in the public procurement process.
The training, he said, will cut across all State ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
The training program was flagged off by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Hon. Barr. Uche Onyeagocha, with the first group of officers, on grade levels 10-15 selected from the ministries of Works, Housing, Public Utilities, Environment and their Parastatals/Agencies.
On the establishment of rehabilitation honestly, the SSA to Imo State Governor on Information and Advocacy, Adaora Onyechere, said that presently Nigeria has only about three borstal institutions in the country for the reform of young persons and non of these are located in the whole of South East and South South of the country.
She said that over the years in Imo State, efforts to set up the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy has not been successful, thus making fair treatment of youth prisoners and those meriting rehabilitation quiet difficult, stressing that even services and training that will help them stay out of trouble are non existence.
Onyechere said Ihedioha intends to take youth rehabilitation as a social intervention programme towards rebuilding Imo and harped on the need to demystify the stigma associated with juvenile detention, and called for a healthier society where repentant juveniles can be trained and reintegrated back to the society as contributors to the rebuilding efforts through the exercise of their civic duties.
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