By Chidi Nkwopara
Owerri—The Imo State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Chris Okoye, has raised alarm that the reformation of prison inmates may remain a mirage, if existing facilities were not periodically upgraded and maintained by government.
Mr. Okoye, who raised the alarm while speaking after receiving a consignment of drugs worth over N450,000, donated by the Rotary Club of Ikenegbu, also lamented that the facility was overcrowded.
“The Owerri prison, which was constructed by the colonial masters to accommodate only 548, is now holding 2,308 inmates”, Okoye said.
The Comptroller of Prison further disclosed that the inmates take turns to sleep at night, in their cells.
“ It is indeed very sad that in this day and age, inmates in Owerri Prisons take turns to sleep. Some even stand throughout the night, to make way for their colleagues to take a nap”, the Imo Prisons boss lamented.
He urged the Federal and State governments to erect more structures in the prison, so as to help dicongest the cells.
“Apart from all these problems, our inmates suffer from various health challenges and it is a thing of joy that Rotarians have chosen to come to our aid”, Okoye said.
While saying that the prison is a place of reformation and rehabilitation of erring citizens, Mr. Okoye however expressed regret that all the facilities that ought to help in these processes of reformation have broken down.
Speaking earlier, the President, Rotary Club of Ikenegbu, Mrs. Chioma Nwolisa, promised that Rotarians will continue to assist humanity to the best of their ability.
“We known that needs of the inmates are many but we chose to start with restocking the medical department with drugs. There is no reason why the inmates should die while awaiting trial”, Nwolisa said.
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