Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for the reformation of the minds of prisoners to reduce crime in the country.
Okowa who decried the situation where prison inmates coordinate criminal activities like kidnapping from the prisons, stated that reforming the minds of the prisoners was very vital for a sustainable crime-free society.
The governor spoke on Monday when members of the Presidential Committee on Prison Reforms led by its Chairman, Justice I. U. Bello paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba.
“We need to reform the mind of the prisoners; a programme to reform the mind of prisoners is very important because once you are able to reform their mind, they will become better citizens,” Governor Okowa said.
He added, “as a state government, we are extending our skill acquisition programmes to the prisons but, it will be such that the prisoners would be given starters’ packs as they are leaving the prisons to enable them start their businesses and be useful members of the society.”
Governor Okowa commended the setting up of committee for prison reforms stating that the committee had to work fast.
He observed that the rate of crime was on the increase in the country whereas the available prison infrastructures had been stretched beyond their limits.
The governor also advocated abolition of death penalties and need to commute those who were already sentenced to death to life imprisonment as most state governments were unwilling to sign the death warrant.
Earlier, Justice Bello had told the governor that they were in Delta State to, as part of their activities, reform the Nigerian Prison Service.
He listed some of his observations from more than 13 states the committee has visited.