By Festus Ahon
ASABA—COMPTROLLER of Prisons in Delta State, Mr Sam Iyakoregha, has said that minor offenders should be subjected to psychological therapy rather than being sent to prisons.
Iyakoregha, who stated this at a one- day seminar organised by Ashmed Psychological Associates to educate Prison Medical Units across the state on social medical disorder, in Agbor, said that the step will help decongest Nigerian prisons.
According to him, most people who commit offences are not in their right frame of mind, adding that the absence of screening process to determine mentally ill persons before imprisonment was a threat to their custodial/ reformatory duties.
He said: “Prison facilities are sometimes used as dumping grounds for people with mental disorders. Those with minor offences are often sent to prison rather than treated for their disorders.”
Earlier in his remark, the head of Agbor Prison, Mr Emmanuel Ofili, commended the management of Ashmed Psychological Associates for the free training, urging the participants to take advantage of the training to further develop themselves.
Chief Executive Officer, Ashmed Associates Limited, Dr Irene Ofili, in her lecture entitled, Addressing Mental Health Problems Within the Prison Facility, said that the seminar was to enable caregivers and mental health providers clinically pay attention, document and report symptoms timely.
Ofili said that the programme also to ensure appropriate and timely intervention in order to achieve organisational goals, increase efficacy and proficiency of prison staff and safety of other inmates.
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