Analysis of the causes and effects of recidivism in the Nigerian prison system

  • MS Otu
Keywords: Analysis, Nigeria, Prison, Recidivism, System.


The Nigerian prison system is witnessing an enormous increase in people relapsing into crime and criminality, recidivists. This development has challenged the practicality and feasibility of rehabilitation programmes in Nigerian prisons. Thus, the paper sets out to achieve the following three (3) objectives: causes, consequences, and prevention and control of recidivism in the Nigerian prison system. Although the paper is basically a literature review, it supported and contributed to the body of existing knowledge on recidivism in Nigeria. From the review, it is established that criminal recidivism is caused by many factors: discrimination and stigmatization, lack of aftercare services or reintegration support programmes, familial, structural, substance abuse, peer influence, etc. Also, recidivism has negative effects on inmates, prison institution and the general public, especially the taxpayers, whose tax is used to run the Nigerian criminal justice system. The paper revealed that qualitative treatment of prisoners and provision of educational and vocational programmes are leading recidivism-control strategies. The paper made the following recommendations: establishment of the state-of-the-art correctional facilities (vocational, educational and religious programmes) for inmates to access; the Federal Government of Nigeria should extend the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) programme which is established in the Kirikiri, Port Harcourt and Enugu prisons to at least, one prison in each State in the Federation; and a responsive aftercare, rehabilitation and follow-up of inmates by either prison authorities or any other agencies that may be appointed by the government in this regard.

Keywords: Analysis, Nigeria, Prison, Recidivism, System.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2734-3316
print ISSN: 1597-9482