REHABILITATION OF PRISON INMATES THROUGH VOCATIONAL SKILLS ACQUISITION PROGRAMMES IN NORTH-WEST STATES, NIGERIA
The study focused on rehabilitation of prison inmates through Vocational Skills Acquisition (VSA) programmes in North West States, Nigeria. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided the study.The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The population of the study was 1,592prison officials. A sample of 351 respondents was drawn using deliberate sampling technique. The sample was made up of 266 male and 85 female prison officials. The instrument for data collection was self-structured questionnaire titled, “Questionnaire on the Rehabilitation of Prison Inmates through Vocational Skills Acquisition Programmes(QRPITVSAP). The instrument was subjected to face validation by three experts in the:Department of Adult Education and Extra-mural Studies, Department of Vocational and Teacher Education, Department of Science Education, all in the University of Nigeria Nsukka respectively.The internal consistency reliability coefficient for the instrument was obtained for each of the clusters through Cronbach alpha method. The overall reliability coefficient of the instrument was 0.75. The data collected were presented and analysed using descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation. Real limit of numbers was used to interpret the result while the five null hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics at the probability of 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study revealed that prison inmates participate to a high extent in the VSA programmes for their rehabilitation, the rehabilitation of prison inmates through VSA programmes has enhanced the social well-being and as well the economic well-being of the inmates to a high extent;challenges that affected the prisons in the rehabilitation of prison inmates through VSA programmes in the North West States’ prisons were: inadequate governmental agencies’ support, inadequate support from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), inadequate vocationally trained personnel to train the prison inmates in various vocations, inadequate modern and well-equipped vocational training workshops;strategies for improvement to ensure effective rehabilitation of prison inmates through VSA programmes in the prisons were provision of more governmental support and non-governmental agencies’ support for the promotion of rehabilitation of prison inmates and recruitment of more vocationally trained personnel in the prison services for effective rehabilitation of prison inmates in the prisons. Based on the findings, the study recommended among others that prison authorities should introduce more vocational skills acquisition programmes that are not available for the rehabilitation of prison inmates in the prisons and more modern and well equipped workshops should be provided for the rehabilitation of prison inmates in the prisons of the study area. However, relevant empirical studies on: participation of prison inmates in rehabilitation programmes; enhancing socio-economic well-being of prison inmates through vocational skills acquisition programmes; challenges affecting the prisons in the rehabilitation of prison inmates and strategies for improvement in the rehabilitation of prison inmates were reviewed. In addition to these, two theories that are relevant to the study such as theory of skills acquisition and rehabilitation theory were also reviewed in the review of literature.