Ekema Emmanuel Likine, Political Sociologist.
“A prisoner is a prisoner and therefore everybody found guilty of having committed a crime and put behind bars should be identified as per his uniform. I don’t think there should be any preferential treatment that has to be given to prisoners against others. Just as it is said that there is no big or small sin, it can also be liken to crime. I therefore strongly support the fact that all prisoners should put on uniforms which is a system of identification prescribed by prison authorities.
All these people who have committed offences against the State should not be given special treatment simply because they were Ministers or Directors. Putting on of uniforms by prisoners is further important because it goes a long way to bring these defaulters to consciousness that they did something wrong.
Forbidding them from their usual clothes serves as a lesson that they have lost the status of free citizens and have to be treated according to the rules and regulations which they now find themselves without any consideration of positions occupied in the society before being condemned to prison terms.
Prisons are intended to serve as rehabilitation or correction centres and not a dungeon. They exist to transform people and bring them to the right mindset. It is thus normal that visiting international human rights organisations come to prison and find uniformed prisoners. If there is exception to the rule of the uniform, they will never learn from their mistakes. So I think all prisoners should be treated the same in all aspects with the only exception being the separation of women from men.”
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