The typical Nigerian prisoner is often arrested and remanded in prison custody years before he is tried in a court of law. During years of incarceration, the prisoner is subjected to inhuman treatments in overcrowded cells. They are victims of torture and sexual violence; deprived of basic human rights including water, food and healthcare; and all these before they are found guilty of any crime. Majority of offenders are from poor socioeconomic backgrounds and find it difficult to cope with life after prisons since they battle with social stigma, poor employability status and overall rejection by the society.
The Nigerian Prisons are unable to provide any form of rehabilitation to majority of the offenders in their care. A mere 5 percent of all prisoners comprising convicts have access to moribund rehabilitation programs in over two hundred prison facilities. Without rehabilitation interventions, offenders are often caught in the cycle of recidivism; to the detriment of society and the government especially due to increase in crime rates, increase in unproductive government spending and a waste of available human resources.
The Centre of Hope Program aims to decrease the rates recidivism by establishing and managing self-sustaining rehabilitation programs which will provide medical and psychological rehabilitation as well as marketable skills and resources to enable ex-offenders start small businesses and become self-reliant. The project will last a period of three (3) years. The Centre of Hope Program will be located in Oji-River, Enugu State but will admit ex-offenders from all over Nigeria.