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The Anambra Prison Services is like other Nigerian Prison Services. It is a complex organization faced with many managerial and structural problems, which hampers effective management of the services, thereby impacting it from achieving its set objectives as it is written in the Prisons Decree of 1972. This paper examined the likely problems that militate against the effective management of the services, ascertain whether the services has the right calibrate of staff and also investigate the authenticity of the claims of the prison services which its policies, programmes, aims and set objectives are reformative and rehabilitative. The research instrument consists of the following.

1.                 Oral interview

2.                 Documentary records

The findings in the present study suggest that there is need to re-examine our prison system with a view to having them re-moulded to become more rehabilitative, less congested and thereby more humane. Finally, there should be need for more adequate funding and implementation of government policies n Nigeria Prison Services.



The definition of management cannot easily be stated in one line of thought.

Individuals differ in their understanding and definitions of the term.

Advanced Dictionary of current English defined management as skilful treatment and delicate contrivance.

Obikeze and Obi (2004) defined management as the process of combining and utilizing or allocating organization inputs (me, material and money) by planning, organizing, directing and controlling for the purpose of producing outputs (goods and services or whatever the object are) desired by customers so that the organizational objectives are accomplished.

Drucker (1989) sees management as denoting a function as well as the people who discharge it, a social position and authority, and also a


Some scholars see management as a collective noun referring to a certain group of people occupying the top echelon of organization. 

Management can be seen as the process of utilizing the available human and material resources in order to achieve the goals and objective of an organization. In essence, management involves combing and utilizing men, material and money to achieve desired results in an organization.

Prison, is an institution designed to securely house people who have been convicted of crimes. These individuals known as prisoners or inmates are kept in continuous custody on a long term basis. The Encyclopedia of social sciences defines prison as a place where persons whose liberty has been curtailed by law are confined to assume the successful administration of justice or application of panel treatment. Individuals who commit the most serious crimes are sent to prison for one more years, the more serious the offense, the longer the prison term imposed.

Before the advent of British rule in Nigeria, there were, in the various towns and villages diverse ways of punishing miscreants. These varied from one community to the other and were dictated largely by the tradition, customs and belief of a people. One thing seems clear however, that is natural that a wrong doer whose continued freedom and liberty pose a threat to the general community should be restrained. It was therefore common to lock up a suspected wrong doer till a competent body or authority “tried” him/her or as a means of punishment (mostly prescribed by the adjudicating body or authority) bind him with shackles etc, there by confining and restraining him. Ikeazor (1986)

In our traditional societies, the Ogboni house  serve as a sort of prison in Yoruba land. The Edo’s, the Ewedo building served only for keeping those to be sold but also those offenders who had to be put away for sometimes. It is also on record that in 1908 Sir Frederick Lugard recorded the existence of prisons among the Fulani ethnics who used them both for incarcerating offenders and for locking away condemned prisons. The Ibo’s built darkroom or houses were constructed by communities, villages and powerful individuals in the society for the purpose of confirming offenders and  captives.

Nnonyelu and Obiajulu (1997). Thus the concept and reality of imprisonment in Nigeria the arrival of British Colonialists Nigeria. The British people were for administrative conveniences and imperialist motives that any other reason else. The penal system was introduced into Nigeria as an ancillary measure led to the promulgation of staggering member of regulations. The Nigerian penal system as it stands today has its roots in country’s colonial past.


The Nigeria prisons service is an organization employing thirty nine thousand three hundred and ninety workers (figure from 2003 Nigerian Prison Annual Report) working in its 123 (One Hundred and Twenty Three) prison and lock-ups scattered all over the federation. Like many complex organizations, the service is likely to be faced with many managerial and structural problems which obviously hamper the good and effective management of the service, thereby affecting it from achieving the

objectives it set for itself.

The objectives of this study therefore include the following:

a.      The examine the effective management of the Nigerian Prisons  Services.

b.     To ascertain whether the service has the right caliber of staff.

c.      To investigate the authenticity of the claims of the prisons service that tits policies, programmers, aims and objectives are reformative and rehabilitative.

d.     This study also aimed enquiring into the problems in the

implementation of these goals.

e.      It will also spotlight the deficiencies in the institutional treatment, suggestion alternative methods of approaching the solutions to the problems.

f.       To know if enough fund is usually allocated to the service to pursue its goals.

Issues in Prison Management:

Modern organization and its management requires the co-ordination of men, materials, equipment, money and time, while the other, inanimate objects are relatively easier to understand and handle, the human factor poses the greatest problem of management today.

Organizations are structured into departments and sections, which are made up of groups of individuals.   Each group in the Organization has its own objective which is components of the Organizational objectives.

To achieve its objectives each group requires among others:

1.                     The spirit of team work

2.                     Effective communication

3.                     Skills of members to perform their jobs in the group.

4.                     Utilization of the abilities and skills of every one in the group to the fullest extent possible.

5.                     Willingness of each member to share responsibilities for the success of the group

6.                     An atmosphere of trust.

The Nigerian prison service being a social security organization is as old as country and has been under great pressure to modernize.

This has become necessary because of the changing role it has often been called upon to play in the social security organization of Nigeria. In response to the demand for modernization, the prison system in Nigeria has undergone many changes over the years. The system has moved from Local government and state Government controls to join other Federal controlled prisons service under the control of the federal government.

The Nigerian prisons service which operates under Decree No 9 1972 and other ordinances before it is charged with the following responsibilities:

1.     Identifying the reason for anti social behavior of offenders, teaching and training them to be useful citizens of a free society.

2.     Treating, training and rehabilitating them to become useful citizens of free society.

Regrettably Nigerians Prisons Service is finding it increasingly difficult to meet its goals. A visit to any of Nigeria Prison (Awka and Onitsha prisons) in Anambra State reveals that none of the prisons is meting the United Nations organizations minimum regulation on treatment of prisoners. The civil liberties organization (CLO) and Human Rights organizations say presently that life in Nigeria is rough and terrible. The physical appearance of many of the awaiting trial prisoners who go to court for hearing of their cases or to the hospital for medical treatment lead credence to what has been written and said by these organization. They look pale and haggard. Besides, the infrastructure looks obsolete and is poorly maintained. Inmates especially awaiting trial inmates sleep on bare without blankets, there is constant stench and around the cells because the awaiting trial inmates seldom take their bath. Common medicines a local peasant can buy are not available in the prisons. Worse ‘chaff’ is supplied in the name of food.

Managing the Nigeria Prison Service raised the following questions:          

1.     Are funds made available by the federal government for the efficient running of the service or are its starved funds simply because it does not record income like customs and immigration services?

2.     Are the past and present prison administrator’s naïve or bereft of management skills?

3.     Is its lack of autonomy contributing to its ineffective management?

4.     Are the staff enjoying job satisfaction, in order words are they property motivated in terms of advancement, promotion, fringe

benefits and fat salary.

5.     Has the prisons services in its employment the right caliber of staff for the achievement of the objective of the service.

The Management of Anambra Prison Service:

The Nigeria Prison system report on Africa Focus Bulletin of Feb. 26, 2008 cited Nigerian’s Prison are filled with people whose human rights are systematically violated. Approximately 65 percent of the inmates are awaiting trial most of whom in Nigerian prisons are too to be able to pay lawyers, and only few of those awaiting trial have private legal representation. Amnesty international press release (Feb. 26 2008) reports that “the problems in Nigeria Criminal Justice system-especially its prison are so blatant and egregious that the Nigeria government has had no choice but to recognized that and has pledged many times that it will reform the system.

The Nigerian Prisons Services is facing the same management system throughout all the prisons in the federation. The greatest problem facing management of prisons today is population explosion. According to Nigeria Prisons Services, the prison population has shown that congestion is mainly evident identified in all prisons.

Research shows hat the awaiting trial population is the major problem of Nigeria Prisons, the group out number the convicted prisoners and swells the prison population out of proportion.

The most crowded prison in Nigeria is Awka Prison Anambra sate. 452 prisoners occupy the prison which has capacity of 98 mats, but as at 2005 these represent 361 percentage more that its capacity.

These are two prisons in Anambra State, one in Awka and the other in Onitsha. A medium, security prison has been under construction in each of Nnewi and Ekwulobia towns but after seven years these structures are about 80 percent completed. Awka Prisons was built to hold 233 inmates and that of Onitsha at Akpaka Fores, designed to accommodate 326, but the later currently host over 700 detainees. The Anambra State controller of Nigerian Prisons Service, Sir Michael Nweze revealed in the Daily Sun Newspaper of (April 27, 2004) that the number of prisoners in Onitsha, which used to be a slave camp, has actually dropped. According to him, he said “It used to be more than 1,000 inmates, in there; Awka prison, built for 238 detainees, now holds more than 300 prisoners.

On the Anambra State liberation day, former governor of Anambra State fred 19 prisoners in Awka and Onitsha prisons (Governor Chris Ngige). The controller also thanks the ex-president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo for taking the problems of Nigeria prisons to heart. 

Anambra prisons now have two Black Maria one for Awka and one for Onitsha prison. The controller said that for long Anambra State prisons services had no functional Black Maria. The Anambra Sate controller of prisons in his interview with the Daily Sun, He expatiated his view on the problems facing Nigeria Prisons. The impression is widespread the Nigeria jail houses are purely for punishment and not for correction purpose. He stated that the problem is that most of the inmates are awaiting trial and not yet convicted, which is why “we cannot incorporate them into our reformation programmes, unfortunately, until the inmate is a convict, he is not entitled to undergo any reform exercise.

(Daily sun newspaper April 29, 2004: 1)

The structure of Anambra Prisons Service, Awka Prisons and Onitsha

Prisons fall into of the two type of organizational structure

1.     Functional

2.     Divisional

For the purpose of this paper, I am limiting myself to function structure which is the oldest and commonly used type. In practice the organization is departmentalized or divided into several inter-department units.

The key function areas in Awka and Onitsha prisons:

a.     Personnel

b.     Welfare

c.      Medical and Health Services

d.     Industry

e.      Agriculture

f.       General duties.

The person in change of prison is called the superintendent.  The

superintendent is the head of Administration. But the over all in charge is the comptroller.

The Organizational Structure of Anambra State Prisons.

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