CAPIO works as a not-for-profit, change-development organization advocating and promoting genuine justice and correctional sectors reforms and contributing to improve the general welfare of inmates in Nigeria. CAPIO commits to the call for justice through advocacy for legal reforms and penal codes’ reviews; through provision of free medical and legal services; and through compassionate obligation in helping inmates while in and out of custodial centres. CAPIO’s interventions over the years have focused mainly on the provision of basic needs of inmates; free legal and medical services; rehabilitation of inmates; and cooperation with other Human Rights Organizations to advance the course of justice. CAPIO’s work has been executed under the four program components of Legal, Medical, Social welfare and Rehabilitation.
Established in 1992 as a human rights organization to address the rights, needs and dignity of inmates, CAPIO was formally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) in 2003. The organization started off as part of the apostolate of the Order of Discalced Carmelite (OCD) Friars in Enugu State and has plans to leverage on the presence of the Carmelites in other States to expand the work of CAPIO. The inspiration for the work is derived from the fact that all human beings are created in God’s image and likeness with equal dignity and rights. CAPIO also strives to fulfill the demands of Matt.25:35-36, “…I was in prison and you came to me”.
“To protect the interest of vulnerable people, especially inmates, through advocacy for a reformed judicial system, free legal services, rehabilitation and re-integration into society, applying international good practices”
“A society in which unhindered access to justice, human rights and dignity of vulnerable people especially inmates are protected”.
PROGRAM AREAS OF CAPIO
CAPIO Legal Aid programme area is interested in enhancing access to, and quick dispensation of justice to inmates. CAPIO facilitates access to justice through free legal representation and the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution to reconcile parties in conflict. CAPIO also advocates for law reforms and implementation of existing human rights laws. Our Legal Aid programmes target indigent inmates at risk of being denied justice due to their inability to pay for the services of a lawyer.
The medical Aid programme provides improved medical care to inmates. CAPIO is interested in advocating for improved response action of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) towards healthcare and sanitation in Nigeria custodial centres. Activities of the Medical Aid programme include donation of medications, clinical equipment and medical services to custodial clinics, inmates and correctional officers based on their needs.
The rehabilitation programme aims to produce empowered and reformed prisoners by supporting personal development of inmates. We advocate support to establish and manage effective post imprisonment rehabilitation and social reintegration interventions. CAPIO works towards strengthening rehabilitation programmes in custodial centres through donation of books, educational materials and facilitates the establishment of learning resource centers in custodial centres across Nigeria. Other activities include counselling, scholarships to inmates participating in adult literacy, post-primary and National Open University of Nigeria programmes. This programme area also promotes recreation and sporting skills development among inmates.
The social welfare unit works towards improving infrastructure and facilities in Nigeria prisons and making life more meaningful for the inmates. The welfare of inmates is an important aspect of CAPIO’s work because inmates are human beings with fundamental rights who ought to be treated with dignity. It is therefore of paramount importance that to achieve the true purpose of imprisonment, which is, to punish crime and reform offenders into better citizens; detention conditions must be of internationally approved standards as stipulated by the Mandela Rules. The Social Welfare programme area is primarily concerned with advocating for improved welfare for inmates and warders. Secondarily, CAPIO provides essential commodities such as soaps, detergents, sanitary materials, bedding, clothing among others; to inmates in various custodial centres periodically. Over the years, CAPIO has been instrumental in the provision of improved water supply to inmates in various custodial centres in Nigeria.
The CAPIO’s Advocacy Programme promotes reform in Nigeria’s Justice System, pushing for amnesty for inmates on death row and other long term convicts, and advancing correctional reforms in the country.