Mr Basil Udeh, an ex-inmate of Nsukka Correctional Centre, Enugu State, on Saturday advised civil society organisations to assist those released from correctional centres to reintegrate into the society.
Udeh, the proprietor of a shoemaking outfit in Lagos State, said that ex-inmates needed assistance to put to use skills they acquired in the centres.
Udeh, a guest at Ojo Youth Empowerment Workshop organised by a social crusader, Mrs Bola Alabi, said that the lack of assistance could make some ex-inmates go back to crime.
The shoemaker said the society needed to provide social platforms to engage the youth in order to discourage them from getting involved in vices.
He said he got assistance from a faith-based organisation called Queen of Charity, Enugu, to start a new life after he was released from prison.
“The organisation helped me acquire tools to begin shoemaking which I learnt from prison, it is that single aid that made me reintegrate into the society.
“Organisations should assist in engaging people from prison to utilise the skills they get from there for each person is trained for a particular skill for life after prison.
“With good money coming from my shoemaking daily which can take care of my family of three, my eight-year post-prison is worthwhile.
“You can imagine what will have become of me if that help from the Queen of Charity did not come when it came,” he said.
He added that the task of establishing every ex-inmate might be cumbersome for government after rehabilitation and that civil society groups should come in and fill the gap and save the society.
He said that the workshop would go a long way in keeping the youth out of the streets because participants were taught plastic gathering, sorting and were introduced to the end-user that would pay for the plastic waste for recycling.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the workshop is “Waste to Wealth through Recycling”.