Good Governance and Prison Congestion in Nigeria: The Case of Maximum Security Prison, Ilesa
Adeleke Adegbami, Charles I. N. Uche

The study examined the nexus between good governance and prison congestion as well as analysed the welfare of inmates while in the prisons custody. The study utilised primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected through the administration of questionnaire and conduct of interviews. The study population comprised sixty (60) purposively selected prisoners serving various jail terms, who were selected on the ground that they were available and willing to participate in the study. The respondents also include six (6) randomly selected prison officials. A set of questionnaire was administered to the selected inmates to elicit information on crimes committed; the reasons for committing the crimes as well as other questions relating to their welfare in the custody. Interviews were also conducted with six prison officials to elicit information on the welfare of inmates. Secondary data were got from relevant journals, and textbooks. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics such as – frequency distributions and percentages, and content analysis. The results showed that majority of the prison inmates were youths between the ages 18 and 45; most of them were graduates of institutions of higher learning; married; and of poor family background. The results further revealed that most of the inmates have no stable job or means of livelihood; some of them that were working earned between N11,000 and N15,000. Many of the inmates would have preferred to work in the government establishments such as – NNPC, the Customs, the Immigration, the Military, and the Universities; while some would have preferred private organisations like bank and other multinational company. The results equallyshowed that many of the inmates committed more than one offence, which included breaching of public peace, burglary /stealing, armed robbery, forgery, obtaining by false pretence; and impersonation.Major reasons for committing crimes were lack of gainful employment andfor monetary gain; and the jail terms of most of the respondents were between 4 and 6 years. On the welfare of the inmates, the results showed that the prison cells were terrible and not appropriate for human being to live in; prison cells were overcrowded; inmates slept on bare floor; there was shortage of water; the toilet facility was poor and the general environment were unkempt;foods being served for the inmates were of low quality, tasteless and unpalatable; and inmates had access to health facilities. The study concluded that unless good governance is practice in Nigeria prisons will continue to be congested as people will continue to find a way of survival amidst economic hardship.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ppar.v3n2a3