Drug Abuse: Youths constitute 90% of inmates in Gombe

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THE Gombe State of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), says about 90 per cent of the inmates in all custodial centres in the state are youths as a result of drug use.

The state Controller of the command, Ahmadu Adamu, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Gombe.

Adamu described the trend as sad, noting that youth who are supposed to be contributing to the development of the country is now in the custody as a result of drug abuse which is the root of crimes.

According to him, there are presently 1, 553 inmates in Gombe Correctional Centres with 757 awaiting trials while 796 are convicted inmates.

“What is happening in society in relation to a crime is a social problem. Most of the little crimes that have degenerated into other major crimes are committed due to drug influence.

“It will make you sad if you go to our correctional centres and discover that almost 80 to 90 per cent of the inmates are youths.

“They are in their youthful years when they can make significant contributions to the development of this country but unfortunately, they are now in custody,’’ he said.

Adamu stressed that the menace of drug abuse must be tackled effectively and called on society to join hands with the government to provide a durable solution to the problem.

“This is a social problem that needs a holistic approach in order to address it; it is not only the role of the government to curb crimes in the society; the community, elites, traditional rulers, parents, and everyone must be included.

“The government is making a lot of efforts but everyone must join forces to help assist the teeming population to put them in the right direction,” he said.

The controller stated that a lot of reformations of the youths were being carried out in all the facilities to ensure effective rehabilitation of the youths.

He explained that counselling and vocational skills acquisition programmes were on-going in the facilities across the state in line with their mandate and the new Act.

Adamu said: “The new correctional act is laying more emphasis on reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates; that means the act is now paying attention to the reformatory acts of imprisonment than the punitive aspect.

“In all our facilities, we are having some vocational skills and we are trying to bring new ones. We are making a lot of progress to refine these youths to impact them positively on society”.

Adamu commended the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for giving the inmates educational interventions to ensure that those with university admission requirement were given an opportunity to go to school.

“Last week; we have collected about 12 names and all these inmates have the minimum requirement to secure university admission and NOUN have waved the school fees for these inmates. This is laudable and we commend them.

He also lauded the Federal Government’s efforts at ensuring that the inmates are well cared for both medically and otherwise, adding “the inmates in our correctional centres are doing well.’’ (NAN)

– Mar. 17, 2020 @ 11:29 GMT |

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