The Welfare Unit caters primarily for the general welfare of inmates and ex-inmates of the Agodi Prison, Ibadan and secondarily to the general public who are in dire need of the basics of life.
Weekly visits are made to the prison, which housed both convicted and awaiting trial inmates of both genders. Conscious efforts are made to bring the inmates closer to their families through message delivery, visits to the families and reconciliation. Also, access to medical facility is facilitated for the sick and constant effort is made to uphold the dignity of the inmates. The unit liaises with other religious and non-religious groups to bring aids to the inmates in form of adequate nutrition, and spiritual exercises like catechesis and Mass, counselling etc. Below is a rundown of activities carried out during the year.
Activities and Results
- Visits to Agodi Prison: Visits are made. Inmates are interviewed to determine those in need of help. This has boosted the confidence of the inmates in our interventions.
- Home visits are made to inmates’ relatives within and outside Ibadan: Inmates’ families are visited in Ibadan and other States. Some families have since responded by visiting their wards in the prison, which has improved communication between the inmates and their relatives.
- Enlightenment talks are occasionally organized by the Legal Aid unit for the awaiting trial inmates in the prison where they are all informed and educated on their fundamental rights and process of their trial. The inmates also have the opportunity of getting answers to questions bothering their minds.
- Reconciliation of both convicts and awaiting trial prisoners with their families and victims (where such is known) is carried out.
Relief Items Received
- People of diverse background including priests, religious, seminarians, lay faithful and members of the public give relief items. These items include medical supplies, clothes, shoes, money, foodstuffs and toiletries. These go a long way in addressing some of the basic needs of some of the inmates.
- Prison Apostolate Meeting: Bi-monthly meetings of Catholics who work in the prison are held. An update of activities is presented and new challenges addressed. The result is a better coordination of activities, and inmates are assured of effective counselling and a support base.
- On-going immunisation of children in the prison: through the intervention of the unit, a number of inmates’ children are immunised by Government Health workers of Oyo State.
- Prison Fellowship of Nigeria: The unit participates in meetings organised by the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria. The essence of such meetings is to coordinate the activities of the different religious bodies working in the prison. This forestalls duplication of efforts and ensures quick intervention in cases of inmates requiring solutions. It also ensures that the organisation complements others considering their strengths and weaknesses.
- Transport Subsidies: Released inmates are assisted with transport fare and food items. It reduces the possibility of re-arrest and detention in prison.