The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has urged the Federal Government to invest heavily in reforming prisoners and rehabilitating the various prison formations in the country.
Kaigama who made the call in a sermon at the Jos Prison on Tuesday added that the reformation homes had over time been neglected by the authorities.
The archbishop usually celebrates Christmas Mass with the prison inmates.
Kaigama said most of the prisons across the country are in a “sorry” state, and are in dire need of government attention.
“Prisons are an important aspect of our society, because we have human beings with blood running in their veins in those homes.
“Unfortunately, this very important aspect of our society has been neglected for so long. A lot of the prisons are dilapidated and in a state of disrepair.
“This has to be done, just as government invests in the universities and other institutions of learning, because it wants to train future leaders.
“It is just as government invests heavily in the military and the police to train young men to provide security, so it is that it must also invest in the prisons.
“In the prisons, we also have good human beings with raw talents waiting to be properly harnessed and utilised for the good of this country, but they are often given little or no attention.
“So, I call on government to invest in making the prisons better, and to also offer the inmates the necessary assistance to help them emerge better persons after serving their jail terms,” he urged.
Speaking on why he always visited the prison during Christmas, the Archbishop said the gesture was to make the prisoners feel they are also important and were being remembered.
Kaigama added that the inmates were members of the society, and should not be alienated because of their present state.
“I have made it a point of duty to dine and wine with them during the festivities. Because the inmates are an important segment of our society. They are citizens like every other person.
“So, to give that honour and make them feel the same with those in the cathedral and other parishes, I make it a point of duty to come not only to celebrate mass, but eat and drink together with them,” he said.