Inmates perception of the living conditions in a medium security prison in North Central Nigeria
Background: The United Nations in her quest for the humane treatment of all human beings, had created and adopted a number of International legal instruments to protect and guarantee human rights to all persons including those who are incarcerated in the prisons. However, the application of these instruments in practice falls short of prescribed standards in many prisons and reformation centers in Nigeria. This study empirically assessed the prison inmate's perception of living conditions in Makurdi Medium Security Prisons, North-Central Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out on 132 inmates, selected by simple random sampling technique. Data analysis was done with Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23.0 and presented as tables.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 25.±6.5 years. The male inmates formed the majority with ratio of 17.6:1. The mean duration of stay in prison custody was 3.2±2.6 years with culpable homicide being the commonest reason for imprisonment in 31.1% of cases. The majority of inmates were not satisfied with the quality and quantity of food provided for them (90.9% and 94.7% respectively), where they sleep (87.9%), water they drink (60.6%), methods of refuse and sewage disposal (81.1%), recreational facilities (80.3%) and the nature of the health care services provided (80.3%).
Conclusion: The inmates perceive that the standard of living was generally below the minimum international standards. Hence it is recommended that Nigerian prison service should implement relevant policies aimed at improving the living standard of inmates in Nigeria prisons.
Keywords: Perception, Living Conditions, Inmates, Prison, Nigeria