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Prison Chaplaincy in Nigeria and in Germany

A Study in Diminishing Returns and Social Responsibility in Nation Building


Michael Diochi

Penal institutions and the detention ministry, due to their uniqueness, communicate a few positive messages to society. However, this study takes us further beyond the sterile complaints about penological systems, and dramatically reveals the mesmerizing and often monstrous flaws in our criminal justice systems. Emerging detention staff squabbles, in penal institutions, can culminate to factual aberrations of felons’ improper reformation and rehabilitation; and to incidences of enormous problems in the determination of the recidivistic rates of ex-convicts and parolees. A correction system has done quite well if it is able to turn major offenders into minor ones, and frequent offenders into infrequent ones. Comparison basically curtails any presumptive or «theoretically» qualified conceptualization. Therefore, the comparative nature of this study, which acts as an epistemological «operative» Leitdifferenz, remains a cultural preview for the existence of some scientific evidences for further discussions and researches in penological studies.
Contents: Background to the Study – Penological Reform and the Problems of Nigerian Prisons / Prisoners in Relation to Prison Ministry – Religious / Christian Reflection on Crime in Reference to Prison Chaplaincy – The Major Causes of Crimes of Nigerian Prisoners, and their Reference to the Prison Chaplain – Functions of Spiritual-Care as Part of the Treatment of Prisoners – The Social Role of the Prison Chaplain – Prison Chaplaincy in Germany – Comparative and Relational Prison Factors: Germany and Nigeria – Conclusion.