The prisons are supposed to be a reformation and rehabilitation centre for convictedprisoners who are convicted for one crimes or the other and not for the unconvictedones who are still awaiting court trials. However, what has become of the Nigeria’sprisons is the congestion of both the convicted and unconvicted prisoners. This project reduces problems with the existing system of prisons record management. The implementation of this system will help reduce prison congestion in the Nigerian Prison Servicehelpsto increase the speed of attending to cases of prisoners awaiting court judgment. The application is developed using Visual C# on Microsoft Visual Studio .net. The backend database was developed with Microsoft Access 2007 and managed with embedded SQL (structured query language) from the C# environment.
In a real-life experience, it is technically proposed that as any system gets congested, the service delay in the system increases. A good understanding of the relationship between congestion and delay is essential for designing effective congestion control algorithms. Queuing Theory provides all the tools needed for this analysis.(Obioha, 1995) The growing of crime in the society has led to increase in waiting time and overcrowding in Nigerian prison yards. Long waiting time of inmates in any prison is considered as an indicator of poor quality and needs improvement.Managing inmates awaiting trial create a great dilemma for prison wardens seeking to improve condition of inmates on daily basis. (Adetule et al, 2010).
Prison is an institution designed to secure house for people who have been convicted of crimes. These individuals, known as prisoners or inmates, are kept in continuous custody on a long-term basis. Individuals who commit the most serious crimes are sent to prison for one or more years; the more serious the offense, the longer the prison term imposed. For certain crimes, such as murder, offenders may be sentenced to prison for the remainder of their lifetime. When individuals are accused of violating criminal law, they are tried in a court and either convicted or acquitted. A person who is convicted is then sentenced—that is, assigned a specific punishment. The sentence may involve fines, probation, or incarceration.
There is a term that has assumed the currency of serious discussions whenever the issue of Prison Reforms comes up for mention in recent times. That issue is Prison Congestion. I have come to view the pre-eminence of the term with fear because so many people who use the term do not really appreciate its implication for Prisons and indeed Criminal Justice Sector Reforms. This project will be the best place to agree on what is Prison Decongestion and determine the appropriateness of the of computer application as a tool for the Reform of Prisons. (Normal, 1998)
Decongestion simply means to evacuate, to reduce the volume or numbers in a space. The Farlex Outline dictionary defines decongestion as the reduction in the volume of contents or numbers in an existing space. When applied to the Prisons it means measures designed to reduce the number of prisoners in the prisons system.
One can note from the phrase, “convicted of crimes” when talking about prisons. Prison is supposed to be a house for convicted criminals, which implies people who are not yet found guilty in court judgments are not meant to be housed in a prison. In Nigeria today the real definition of the word prison as seen from the universal concept is not applicable because what we have is a houseful of suspects (inmates awaiting trial). Most inmates remain in the prison for years without even presenting their case before the court of law. Problems arise from several reasons such as injustice, missing records, placing superiority over one inmate than the other, etc. All rest on the inability to invent digital means of keeping track of how these inmates arrived at the prison gates before themselves.
Queuing theory is the mathematical study of waiting lines. The theory enables mathematical analysis of several related processes, including arriving at the (back of the) queue, waiting in the queue (essentially a storage process), and being served at the front of the queue. The theory permits the derivation and calculation of several performance measures including the average waiting time in the queue or the system, the expected number waiting or receiving service, and the probability of encountering the system in certain states, such as empty, full, having an available server or having to wait a certain time to be served. (Obioha, 1995)
This theory will be applied in letting the prison wardens easily be notified about how long an inmate has stayed without being judged, the maximum time an inmate is to stay in the prison awaiting trial, alert on the congestion level of the prison so as to easily make the government decide on whether to free inmates waiting trail for too long, etc.
The existing prisons record management mostly implemented in the Nigerian Prisons Service is the use of spreadsheet application to keep prisoners record. This method is not efficient and record security is not guaranteed. This study was motivated by the problem of the existing system therefore providing solution through developing a new computerized system.
The aim of this project is to develop software for information management in the Nigerian Prisons Servicethat improves prisons service efficiency and incorporates the relationship between the law court and prison wardens. The objectives of the study are as follows;
- To help reduce prison congestion with the aid of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) through software application.
- To achieve quick reference to a data base for information needed easily and easy storage.
- To design a system that will efficiently improve the prison services operation by ensuring that no prisoner waits beyond expected time.
- To enable quick planning and decision making on prisons reform.
The program is developed with a dot net (.net) windows integrated development environment (IDE). The database management system is a necessity to be considered for proper data management. The DBMS employed is Microsoft Access 2007 with Jet 4.0 provider and mysql query for ease of operation.
- The project would improve the efficiency of the prison system by eliminating most of the short comings of the manual system being used presently.
- Proper implementation of computer based application wouldavert or prevent persistence influx of the prison yards amounting to expensive running and operations of the prison services.
This project mainly targets on the application for prisons in hastening the rate at which the cases of the inmates awaiting trial is attended to. Delay justice is seen as the major cause of prison congestion in Nigeria. Therefore, this project does not cover managing the records of the prisons staff as the primary target of decongesting prisons is not influenced by the number of staff present at any time.
The following are the contextual meanings of the terms adopted in this research work:
Prison: Prison, institution designed to securely house people who have been convicted of crimes. These individuals, known as prisoners or inmates, are kept in continuous custody on a long-term basis
Prisoner: Somebody held in prison: somebody confined in a prison as a punishment for a crime or while waiting to stand trial.
Inmate: Somebody in an institution: somebody who is confined to a prison.
Prison Warden: Like other institutions, prisons contain a leadership and authority structure responsible for governing and operating the prison. At the top of this hierarchy is the warden, also known as the superintendent or chief administrator. Deputy wardens typically assist in administrative duties. Correctional officers manage and control the inmates.
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