What We Do
We provide free legal representation to indigent incarcerated individuals
This program has been achieved over time through the Pro-Bono services of Lawyers who believe in our dreams and desire to have a justice driven legal system.
Our Work covers several pressing issues
Legal Support Program
With more than 55,000 awaiting trial justice-impacted individuals across the country, the continuous need for legal assistance cannot be overemphasized and an effective criminal justice system cannot be achieved until an accused person or victim of human right violation have access to legal representation which is a constitutionally guaranteed right.
Educational Support Project
In the pursuit of rehabilitation, Education emerges as a transformative force for incarcerated individuals. Beyond granting second chances, it nurtures self-respect, counters social disconnection, and fuels aspirations for renewed lives.
The inception of our Prison Library Project in 2020 was prompted by firsthand observations of the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals in accessing educational and self-development resources. Recognizing the inadequacy of correctional facility libraries filled with outdated and irrelevant books, CELSIR, with the support of the Ford Foundation, took proactive steps.
The launch of a state-of-the-art 21-user library at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre addressed the lack of reading facilities for incarcerated individuals, exacerbated by the destruction of the only available library during the 2020 #EndSars jailbreak attempt. The library, inclusive of an e-library section, caters to those pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the National Open University of Nigeria, now serving over 3000 incarcerated persons with a daily usage exceeding 50 individuals.
The initiation of the #DonateaBook campaign Project actively involved communities in supporting incarcerated individuals as a constructive alternative to stigmatization. Over 2000 books, spanning various genres, were collected and distributed across correctional facilities and the Mobile Library Bus, establishing this initiative as a cornerstone of CELSIR’s efforts.
In 2022, the Prison Library Program achieved another milestone with the launch of the Mobile Library initiative, a van equipped with versatile book racks covering a range of subjects. Inspired by the success of the stationed library at the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Ikoyi, and the positive feedback received, the need for intervention in other correctional centers propelled the Mobile Library Project.
Since its commissioning, we have visited three (3) Medium Security Custodial Centers, one (1) Maximum Security Custodial Center, and two (2) Special Correctional Centers for Juveniles within Lagos State Nigeria. Each center is provided with a thoughtfully curated set of books for a one-month duration before rotation. With approximately 3,000 books, a significant portion of which resulted from our highly successful Book Drive, enhances the literary resources available to these centers.
Skill Acquisition & Self Development
Creative Writing Workshop Impact
Health and Safety Training
A Better Me: An Interactive Motivational Workshop
Safe House for Formerly Incarcerated Women
In recognizing shelter as a fundamental human need, incarceration often results in the upheaval of homes, posing a significant challenge upon regaining freedom. The absence of shelter leaves formerly incarcerated individuals, especially women, in a vulnerable position.
CELSIR in partnership with “A New Way of Life” has set up the first shelter (Halfway Home) for formerly incarcerated women in Nigeria, to embark on the journey of reintegrating into society, providing them with essential support and empowering them with the skills necessary to become Self- reliant and independent women.
Some photos from The Ruby House
Our newly established Safe House is named “The Ruby House”. The House is designed to accommodate 15 residents in comfort. The facility includes specialized areas such as a skills room, a library, and an individual counseling space, fostering an environment conducive to comprehensive recovery. There is a designated room allocated to provide privacy for nursing mothers and pregnant women, recognizing and catering to their specific needs. This thoughtful design ensures that the Safe House is not just a residence but a supportive and tailored environment for the diverse needs of its residents.