Corps Member flags off empowerment scheme for ex-convicts in Ekiti

A corps member serving in Ekiti State, Anuoluwa Balogun, has flagged off empowerment scheme for ex-convicts in the state.


Balogun who said her passion was borne out as a result of the non-reintegration plans for ex-convicts, opted to have it as her Community Development Service (CDS), under the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC)


She said: “The empowerment scheme is geared towards ensuring that the ex-convicts don’t end up being political baits, thugs, and supposed land owners “Omo Onile”, and in-turn disturb the peace of the society.


“Also, they fall into depression due to loneliness, homelessness and stigma. Hence, the reason to empower them become better versions of themselves.”


The scheme formally kicked-off with a first pre-release counselling session, on Friday, 8th of April, 2022, at the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ado-Ekiti Custodial Centre.


The resource person, Dr Bukola Ajayi, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Ekiti State University, started with “History Taking”, after which he introduced them to ‘Personality’ which also involved ‘Potential Realisation.’


The session served as an introductory class to reshape their thinking patterns, where a lot of examples were drawn.


The Psychologist encouraged them and opened their eyes to lots of positive opportunities awaiting them in the real world. He urged them to remain cautious so as not to be subjected to crime again.


He also emphasised that there is no excuse to committing a crime. He said, “Because the government is not doing enough does not give you the liberty to do anyhow.”


Other areas that were dished out by the Psychologist include; ‘comparative analysis’ – where he compared their lives before coming into the correctional centre to the current state and ‘Cognitive Restructuring Therapy.’


Additionally, in a letter dated, 10th March, 2022, the Welfare, Controller of Corrections, Ekiti State Command, Afeniforo K.R, expressed the command’s readiness to partner in ensuring that the exercise is hitch free.


Afeniforo said: “I am further directed to request you to give her all the necessary assistance as well as ensure that the security of custodial centre and materials are not jeopardize.”


The scheme will empower 15 inmates who will be released between May and June 2022 and also sensitise the society on the need to avoid stigmatising these fellows.


“More importantly, get the ex-convicts a better life by equipping them on a skill they learnt before the incident or get them a new skill relevant to the new world, as well as equipping them with necessary tools, and mentor them on the need to stay away from recidivism”.

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