The Controller of Correctional Service in Enugu State, Mr Joseph Emelue, has assured of professionalism in handling drug-related issues and drug abuse among inmates in correctional custodian centres.
Emelue gave the assurance on Thursday in Enugu, during a training on Sensitisation on Drugs and Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care (DPTC) for Custodian Centre Officers and Men of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Command in Enugu state.
The training was organised by Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP-Nigeria) with funding support from United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under European Union funded project.
The controller noted that the new NCoS Act and re-orientation of correctional officers and men currently ongoing, had repositioned custodian centres to handle inmates with drug-related issues with professionalism, empathy and care it deserves.
“Today, some officers and men are being trained to take critical care of inmates who have drug related issues and ailments; as it is widely known that drug is the major inducement to most crimes in the society.
“Apart from this training, the NCoS has got caregivers, psychologists and mental health consultants working with us to ensure that inmates that have drug-related issues gets first class and professional treatment and get corrected to rejoin the society as reformed persons.
“Also, with this training and others to come and support of provisions of NCoS Act and having the needed professional hands; very soon no inmate will be released and he returns to drug use again,’’ he assured.
Emelue said that the officers and men had been trained and well-oriented to ensure no inmate gets access to drugs under any cunning guise especially as families and friends visited at times.
“I am sure of the thorough searching we give to people and items like food coming from families and friends to inmates in our custodian centres especially within Enugu state,’’ he said.
One of the facilitators, Mr Adjai Enyuche, who is from the Drug Use Reduction Department of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) noted that there was a need for concerted efforts to deal with drug/substance abuse among youths.
Enyuche said that the NDLEA, Enugu state command, would continue to collaborate with NCoS to ensure that inmates, involved in drug abuse, were followed up to a logical conclusion of their total reformation.
“The fight against drug abuse is a collective one and everybody or organisation should get ready to ensure we win these battles and recuse some of our misguided youths,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Executive Director of SIRP-Nigeria, Dr Chris Ugwu, noted that before now, the approach to drug users had been overwhelming, focused on criminalization and harsh penalties; rather than empathy and medical treatment of the drug users.
Ugwu, who was represented by Evelyn Joseph, Programme Manager of SIRP-Nigeria, said that the training was meant to refocus the NCoS Command in implementing public health measures aimed at helping those who suffered from drug dependency in custodian centres.
“The aim of the sensitisation training is to increase awareness and knowledge of law enforcement officers to reduce stigma and improve service uptake for users,’’ he said.
Over 20 officers and men are currently attending the two-day intensive training.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)https://nnn.ng/controller-assures-of-professionalism-in-drug-related-issues-in-custodian-centres/