Over time, public health emergencies such as the corona virus outbreak poses huge socio-economic burden on individuals, families and nations. Evidence shows that vulnerable populations especially people in shielded environments such as correctional facilities are disproportionately affected in multiple ways.
This is the case for correctional facilities in Nigeria, a country with 70% of its prison population awaiting trial with little or non existent healthcare systems behind bars, congested cells and inmates living in unsanitary conditions.
As an organisation, we are advocating for the decongestion of Nigeria’s custodial centres as a major step to fighting COVID 19 in prison. In addition, we launched the a COVID 19 ‘Emergency Welfare intervention for Prison Inmates’ This is to supplement the efforts of the government in catering for the prison population. This is of utmost importance at this moment considering that the religious organisations and NGOS who otherwise support the efforts of the government have been banned from prison visits.
We secured approval from the Comptroller of Prisons, Nasarawa state Command CP Felix to pilot the first phase of this project at the Keffi Custodial centre.
We call on the members of the public and organizations to join us as we take relief items to this very vulnerable population.