Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State says his administration will partner with the Federal Government to build a world-class correctional centre equipped with facilities for the reformation of inmates in the state.
Obaseki disclosed this when he received Justice Alero Edodo-Eruaga, the chairperson of the Edo State Parole Board, who led members and other management teams on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Obaseki said, “The Edo State Government has acquired a 100-hectare land towards Orhionmwon Local Government Area to build a correctional service to really correct those in prisons as what the federal government has now is a prison, not correctional service because it lacks the facilities to truly correct inmates.
“A correctional service should have a full menu of programmes to truly correct inmates and this is lacking. As a state government, we want to build our own and start afresh. We are going to be building it in phases. Emphasis will be on skill acquisition, agricultural farms, a mid-way home, and other facilities that will truly correct and transform the inmates.”
He added, “Even in building our own, we like to collaborate with the federal authorities due to their experience and knowledge gathered already. We will do it in a new bill and with a constitutional amendment. We have anticipated it, started working on it, have our own design and before leaving office, it’s one of the projects we would commence.
“Inmates at our correctional services should be equipped with skills which can be useful to them and create services for the people around them. I see no reason why our inmates can’t produce about 50 percent of what is consumed in the prisons. For us, we would create the facilities, make the investment, put in the skill and give the inmates the best.”
Commending the group for the visit, Obaseki urged them to ensure “proper sensitization of the people on clear communication processes on how the system works to free prisoners.”
Alero Edodo-Eruaga on her part, said, “The Parole is not available for prisoners on death row but for those serving long-term sentences and have done one-third of their term and are of good behaviour. We are planning a sensitisation programme to unveil the whole Parole process so that the people of the state will know that such exists and the processes needed to be qualified for parole.”