Prison and Crime Control: A Criminological Discourse of Recidivism in Nigeria

Ugwuoke Kelvin Abuchi, 2Dauda, Kazeem Omotola, 3Otodo Ifeanyichukwu


Prison in every society is established to keep away people who commit crime thereby enhancing the security of the general society. Studies have shown that prison helps to curtail criminal activities by reforming criminals and reintegrating them back to the society as law abiding individuals, hence reducing recidivism. Recidivism is generally used for describing repetitious criminal activity, and a recidivist is an individual who engages in such activity. Every year, the statistics of crime increase at geometric rate and a large number of criminals are being imprisoned in Nigeria. Eventually, a large chunk of them are released, they commit more crimes and return to prison before two years (Ugwuoke and Otodo, 2015). Hence, this study investigates the prison and crime control vis-à-vis its role in reducing recidivism, using a combination of the ethnographic and historical research methods. The Life-course theory was used as an underpinning to explain the subject matter. The study concentrates on how prison helps to tackle criminality and recidivism considering the lapses in the Nigerian prison circle. The rehabilitative model in the Nigerian prison system is faulty, therefore attempt to equip prisoners with the necessary skills in order to try to re-integrate back to society and consequently prevent recidivism, are not efficient and sufficient. Some of the obstacles leading to recidivism in Nigeria arise from the lapses in the Nigerian prison system, such as the poor rehabilitation model. There have been no or few rigorous studies done on the rehabilitation model in Nigeria; hence this study. The remedies to recidivism as they relate to the lapses in the Nigeria prison system were rendered.

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