CAPIO works as a not-for-profit, change-development organization advocating and promoting genuine justice and prison sectors reforms and contributing to improve the general welfare of prisoners 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 prisoners while in and out of prisons. CAPIO’s interventions over the years have focused mainly on the provision of basic needs of prisoners; free legal and medical services; rehabilitation of prisoners; 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 prisoners, 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 prescence 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”.
OUR VISION AND MISSION
“To protect the interest of prisoners in Nigeria through advocacy for a
reformed judicial system and provision of compassionate, free legal, socialwelfare
and rehabilitation service applying international best practices”
PROGRAM AREAS OF CAPIO
CAPIO Legal Aid programme area is interested in enhancing access to, and quick dispensation of justice to prisoners. 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 persons 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 prisoners. CAPIO is interested in advocating for improved response action of Government Ministeries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) towards healthcare and sanitation in Nigeria prisons. Activities of the Medical Aid programme include donation of medications, clinical equipment and medical services to prison clinics, prisoners and prison officers based on their needs.
The rehabilitation programme aims to produce empowered and reformed prisoners by supporting personal development of inmates in the prison. We advocate support to establish and manage effective post imprisonment rehabilitation and social reintegration interventions. CAPIO works towards strengthening rehabilitation programmes in prisons through donation of books, educational materials and facilitates the establishment of learning resource centers in prisons 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 prison 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 prisoners is an important aspect of CAPIO’s work because prisoners 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 refoemr 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 prisoners and warders. Secondarily, CAPIO provides essential commodities such as soaps, detergents, sanitary materials, bedding, clothing among others; to inmates in various prisons periodically. Over the years, CAPIO has been instrumental in the provision of improved water supply to prison inmates in various prisons in Nigeria.
The CAPIO’s Advocacy Programme promotes reform in Nigeria’s Justice System, pushing for amnesty for prisoners on death row and other long term convicts, and advancing prison reforms in the country.