The Rights of Prisoners in Nigeria and the Role of Prisons and Modern Penology



Prison system in Nigeria and elsewhere not only disables its inmates from their criminal pursuit but equally serves as an institution for their reform and rehabilitation into the society after their release. The system of imprisonment represents a curious combination of different objectives of punishment. The attitude of society towards prisoners may vary according to the objects of imprisonment and social reaction to the crime. Whereas rigorous imprisonment and imposition of severe restriction on the prisoner signifies retribution or deterrence, a lesser restriction and control over him in the form of simple imprisonment means that he is considered to be only a deviant. The modern progressive view, however regards crime as a social disease and favours treatment of offenders through non-penal methods such as probation, parole, open jail etc. Whatever be the reaction of society to the crime, the lodging of criminals in prisons gives rise to several problems of correction, rehabilitation and reformation. It may equally constitute serious violation of prisoners’ rights as they are also human-not devoid of their rights.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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