Functional Literacy Needs And Enrichment Interests Of Adolescent Inmates Of Borstal Homes In Nigeria

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Illiteracy is one of the factors that may lead to juvenile delinquency and incarceration. When inmates with a low literacy level are freed from correctional facilities, social and economic difficulties, including future unemployment and welfare dependence are some of the challenges they are confronted with.This study attempted to seek ways of ameliorating the conditions of juvenile inmates and rehabilitate as well as re-integrate them into the mainstream.The objectives of the study were to: (i) investigate the functional literacy needs of the adolescent inmates of Borstal homes in Nigeria; (ii) analyse their literacy enrichment (reading and writing) interests; (iii) establish the influence of religion, training, ethnicity and home background on their functional literacy needs; and,(iv) ascertain the influence of these variables on their literacy enrichment interests.rnThis study was a descriptive study of the cross-sectional survey type. The target population involved all the current adolescent inmates in all the three Borstal Institutions in Nigeria situated in Kaduna, Ilorin and Abeokuta. The sample consisted of all the 498 adolescent inmates in Kaduna (257), Ilorin (141)and Abeokuta (100) as at the time the study was carried out. The purposive sampling technique was therefore used for the selection of the sample and the locale. A researcher-designed questionnaire with reliability index of 0.95 and an oral interview schedule were used for data collection. The validity was ascertained by a group of seven arbitrators. The percentage was used for analysing the demographic data, while One-way Analysis of Variance and the t-test were used to test the hypotheses of the quantitative data which were further corroborated by context analysis of qualitative data.rnThe findings were that:rn the functional literacy needs rated “very crucial” were both the cultural (x ̅=2.69) and the economic (x ̅=2.64);rn the literacy enrichment interests rated “very crucial” were both the quantitative enrichment reading (x ̅=2.50) and writing (x ̅=2.51);rn there was no significant difference in the functional literacy needs based on ethnicity, inmates’ parents’ educational background, and training; and,rn there was a significant difference in the enrichment interests based on religion (reading F=14.70, p<0.05; writing F=9.76, p<0.05), ethnicity (reading F=3.93, p0.009<0.05; writing F=8.87, p<0.05), inmates’ parents’ socio-economic status (reading F=7.94, p<0.05; writing F=5.56, p0.004<0.05), and training (reading t=4.80, p0.000<0.05; writing t=5.54, p0.000<0.05). Conversely, there was no significant difference in the enrichment(reading and writing) interests based on inmates’ parents’ educational background.rnIt was concluded that all the predictor variables were significant in enhancing the re-integration of the adolescent inmates into the mainstream after discharge from the correctional institutions.The implication isthat the functional literacy needs as well as the enrichment reading and writing interests should further be explored in order to forestall an inadvertent relapse.The study recommended that the controllers of prisons should ensure that the enrichment materials that would be stocked in the institutions’ libraries and the classrooms must be those that can consolidate the identified functional literacy needs of the inmates. Parents are also to work harmoniously with the institutions in ensuring sustainable literacy development for all inmates irrespective of religious and ethnic affiliation, or home background.

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Functional Literacy Needs And Enrichment Interests Of Adolescent Inmates Of Borstal Homes In Nigeria

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