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INFORMATION NEEDS AND THE ENHANCEMENT OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING OF NIGERIAN PRISON INMATES
In every society, deviant behaviour is inevitable and, as a result of its adverse consequences, ought to be taken seriously. Nations have formulated rules and regulations which constitute the penal policies towards the administration and dispensation of criminal justice in the effort to punish as well as reform criminal-minded individuals. The provision of library information resources to cater for the information needs of prison inmates as reformatory tool for their psychological well-being during incarceration has not been given adequate attention in Nigeria prison system. A survey study with structured questionnaire was used to collect data on the sampled 600 prison inmates, out of which 357 inmates responded. The population of the study comprised prisons with two (2) functional libraries. These two (2) prison libraries were chosen through purposive sampling from the total number of all the convict inmates. Prison inmates were classified based on the type of offence committed and duration of prison term. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentages, mean and standard deviation and inferential statistics of, correlation and multiple regression analyses. The study revealed that there was significant multiple correlation among information needs, and psychological well-being of the inmates (R=0.665.p< 0.05). This study observed that information needs of prison inmates are diverse. The study concluded that government must fund the provision of adequate information resources and that the services of professional librarians must be engaged to source for relevant information resources in order to satisfy the information needs of prison inmates in Nigeria.
Key Words: Prison Libraries, Nigerian Prisons, Psychological Well-being.