Ebonyi State Justice Sector Reform Team (JSRT), yesterday, disclosed plans to establish a prison farm in the state. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, UNODC, it said, would fund this. The project, if established, would aid in the decongestion of the prisons.
Disclosing this yesterday during the inaugural meeting of the group, the Secretary of the group, Ben Odoh, a lawyer, said that already, the team was liaising with the Ministry of Interior to seek its consent to build Ebonyi prison farm.
“But right now, because of paucity of funds and as a team, we cannot raise the funds and we don’t want to burden the state government considering the enormous projects being executed by the governor. So, we decided to liaise with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime to discuss with them and see if they can assist.
“They have accepted to come to Ebonyi on 25th and 26th September to have strategic sections and discuss how they can partner with us to establish Ebonyi prison farm. That farm, once established, shall be handed over to the prison in Ebonyi and then the inmates that have been convicted and sentenced will be sent there. It is not for awaiting trial.
“In it, there will be hostels. In the farm, we are proposing 100 hectares of land. There will be different sections for all types of farms both food crop and animal farming. Anyone the inmates chose is what they will be supported to do.
“The farm will be open to the public to enhance patronage. Now, whatever the inmate earns as income will be shared in the ratio of 60:20:20. It’s still a proposal. 60% will be saved for the inmate which will be given to him as soon as he finishes his jail term to enable him start his own business; 20% is for his feeding while the other 20% will be government’s IGR.