Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) has inaugurated the Nigeria yellow ribbon project to fight stigmatisation of offenders and ex-offenders in the country.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Executive Director, PRAWA, Dr Uju Agomoh said the project had become neccessary to create awareness on the need to give ex-offenders a chance to start afresh.
Yellow ribbon symbolises suicide prevention colour and also a symbol of support.
Agomoh said similar initiatives were being implemented in some other countries such as Singapore which showcased the international importance of the project.
She said the project was a national project reaching all States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory.
She noted that the main purpose of the programme was to promote effective rehabilitation, reintegration, prevention of stigmatization and reduction of re-offending behaviours.
According to him, Yellow ribbon project is a project aimed at unlocking the second prison. Second prison is simply the community which means “saying no to stigmatisation”.
“We are using this project to fight stigmatisation majorly among ex-convicts and encourage acceptance of ex-offenders and their families into the community. Inspire community action to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders. Building a community where ex-offenders are empowered to look beyond their past and towards the future. Also to help inmates and ex-offenders rebuild their lives and lower the recidivism rate”.
Agomoh said all the activities under the project would be geared towards inmates reintegration, reduction and prevention of stigmatization.
“We will organise programmes that will highlight, encourage and celebrate activities showcasing examples of successful and effective reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates and ex-inmates interventions. Fund raising towards provision of direct support to the correctional service activities on rehabilitation, reintegration, aftercare, and to inmates, ex-inmates, youth-at-risks of going into crime and violence and their families. Sensitization and capacity building programmes on the provisions of the NCoS towards the reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates, ex-inmates and their families. We would also monitor the implementation of these provisions”.