From the birth of modern civilization in the third millennium BC, almost every major ancient civilization used the concept of prisons as a means to detain and remove the personal freedoms of incarcerated people. In those early periods of history, prisons were often used as a temporary stopgap before sentencing to death or life of slavery, but, with time and civilization, prisons started morphing into correctional facilities that started implementing the concept of rehabilitation and reform. (www.prisonhistory.net). By definition, prison reform refers to an attempt to improve the conditions inside prisons and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a penal system, thus changing the description of prisons to correctional facilities to improve the life of inmates and provide necessary tools for gainful life after incarceration.
The incarcerated offenders have children, spouses, family, and friends who desire to continue a relationship with them while they are in or out of prison. Incarceration makes it exceptionally difficult for individuals to maintain healthy relationships with those who will be their support system when they return home.
In Nigeria, the rate of incarceration is growing at an alarming rate. Countries around the world have witnessed a similar sporadic increase. By ensuring that individuals have the opportunity to use their time in prisons in constructive manners and allowing them to maintain positive relationships with their support network, we can increase the likelihood they become productive members of their communities upon re-entry (www.charleskochinstitute.org).
The international community is keenly interested in the way and manner a country treats its prisoners. For instance, Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. “The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 5, states that “every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status” (Coyle, 2003). This is the basic reason for the formation of PREMI.
Established in 1982 as a non-governmental organization, Prison Rehabilitation Mission International Inc. (PREMI) has been consistent in advocating the overhaul of the prison system and the reform of the penal system in Nigeria and Africa. Its goal is to assist in the realization of the national objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy. The most important of these is the replacement of scolding with schooling, and punishment with prospect. This, PREMI believes, will reduce re-incarceration and assist in the reintegration process of released offenders. The Four Rs of this organization are Reformation, Reintegration, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement.
The Director of Operations (The United Kingdom) is Reverend James Ademuyiwa. Rev. James expanded the scope of PREMI internationally by launching PREMI in the United Kingdom. Rev James is working relentlessly to ensure that the correctional institutions in Africa operate like those in advanced countries. He is a member of the evangelical arm of PREMI.
The Director of International Operations (North and South America) is Dr. Silas O. Falokun. Dr. Falokun is the career and education counselor at the education department of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice since 2012. He is a college professor, a career and academic counselor, a behavior interventionist, and a drug, domestic violence, parenting, and anger management expert. He a member of the PREMI family and is excited to be part of the prison reforms in Nigeria and Africa.
The United States Chapter of the Prison Rehabilitation Mission International, Inc. (PREMI, USA) comprises of correctional officers of excellent work records. These are experts that lead their departments in different units of correctional facilities in Texas. A significant percentage of these learned officers have been with the Texas correctional institution for over a decade. They are very successful in their daily endeavors and willing to help the correctional institutions in Africa to meet the global standards required of correctional facilities and generate significant income for the government. For these reasons, these experts have resolved to be part of PREMI, believing that because they have done this for years, they can also do it for nations in Africa. These officers are:
- Dr. Silas Falokun (College Instructor, Career and Academic Counselor at TDCJ)
- Mr. Ayobami Sopitan (Entrepreneur, policy planner, and management consultant)
- Mr. Oliver Obi (MSW) (Correctional Officer at TDCJ/Education and Vocational Training)
- Mr. Ezekiel O. Laleye (Sergeant at TDCJ/Food Services)
- Dr. Johnson Olusanya (Nurse Practitioner/Medical Services at TDCJ)
- Mr. Alfred Ekemezie. (Agriculture/Supervisor at TDCJ)
- Dr. Norbert Nkwelle (Captain at TDCJ/Administration and Security)
- Mr. Adebayo Quadri-Shitta (Alternate Captain at TDCJ/Food Service)
At PREMI, we believe in the replacement of scolding with schooling, and punishment with prospect. This will reduce re-incarceration and assist in the reintegration process of released offenders.
With enthusiastic employees and volunteers, we are ready to support you no matter any time.