ART EDUCATION AS A FACTOR FOR EMPOWERMENT OF INMATES OF MAKURDI PRISON, BENUE STATE, NIGERIA
Prison evolved as an institution for punishing those who offend society. Brutality and other forms of inhuman treatment were associated with prison, but as from the 19th Century AD beginning with England, prison started becoming human resource recovery institutions that retrain errant to become good citizens on release. The perennial problem of recidivism in the Nigerian prison system over the decades calls for concern from the public. Studies found most inmates to be semi-literate individuals who do not acquire any handiwork and have not been trained in any trade before their imprisonment; such inmates find it difficult to adjust into the society on release. This study therefore evaluates inmates’ achievements in art education as an attempt to empower inmates with skills to live self-sustainable lives after release. 40 out of 122 inmates were selected (representing 32.7% sample size) using interest (simple random sampling technique). Inmates participated in the ten weeks ex post facto method, data was collected in form of art test scores from male inmates of Makurdi Medium Security Prison, Benue State-Nigeria. Descriptive statistics and t-test were used to analyze the quantitative data while the data collected through observation were analyzed qualitatively. The study revealed on the average that the level of prisoners’ achievement in learning art was high. There was a significant difference in the study of art education in prison setting. Inmates’ performance in Information Communication Technology was poor due to low level education and inmates who had shorter discharge dates showed laxity and lacked concentration, as they saw no need to learn anything new.