Nigeria Prison Service (NPS), Nigeria’s apex reformatory agency, has won the Golden World Award (GWA) on Crisis Management instituted by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) for a media campaign on Prison Decongestion and the plight of Awaiting Trial Inmates (ATI).
The award ceremony will take place in Barcelona, Spain in October 2018.
The NPS’ campaign which was executed by award-winning Image Merchants Promotion Limited, publishers of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential respectively, created massive public awareness for mass-mobilization and positive response from the concerned stakeholders who deployed legal and constitutional procedures to address the challenges of the alarming statistics of ATI.
The NPS is the first security agency in Africa to have won the award on Crisis Management. The Prison service has previously won awards for Superior Achievement in Branding and Engagement (SABRE) hosted by the African Public Relations Association (APRA) in Botswana. It received Public Education Award and Certificate of Excellence on Public Sector.
The prison decongestion campaign was listed among the finalists after the first round of online adjudicating for the 2018 IPRA GWA nominees before the judges converged on Belgium to select the final winners.
The IPRA’s President and Chairman of the Jury, Bart de Vries, said: “This year, the quality of entries is noticeably more consistent with succinct descriptions of objectives matched by creative solutions to PR issues. We have seen some superb finalists in 2018.There is a noticeably balancing of entries by region with growth especially in Middle East Africa compared to previous years. This reflects the GWA’s truly global scope.
The campaign was approved by the Controller General of Prison, Ahmed Ja’afaru to decongest the prison through effective strategies of Public Relations and Advocacy Campaigns. On assumption of office, he was alarmed by the frightening populations of Awaiting Trial Inmates, who were not convicted by the court.
With support from the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), some of the campaign strategies included Facility Tours of Prisons, Media Relations, Training of Prisons Public Relations Officers and Stakeholders Engagements.
The outcomes included the enhanced capacity of PR Officers with fair media coverage, editorial mentions and robust Stakeholders’ Participation. Between January to December 2017, the campaigns were successful as the statistics of the ATI dropped to 66% by the end (December) 2017. Factors responsible for the awaiting trial inmates in Nigeria include but not limited to high remand in custody, lack of speedy trials, overuse of imprisonment rather than fine on lesser offences by the courts, abuse of arrest powers and bail conditions by the police. By PRNigeria.
The annual IPRA Golden World Awards (GWA) initiative, established in 1990, recognizes excellence in public relations practice worldwide in a variety of categories. Recipients of the award take pride in the recognition granted their entries as meeting international standards of excellence in public relations. An overall IPRA Grand Prix for Excellence is presented each year to the entry judged as representing the highest standards that year. While there are many national and regional PR awards, there is only one truly global scheme: the GWA.
The winners of the 2018 Golden World Awards will be honoured during IPRA’s prestigious award ceremony and Gala Dinner in Barcelona, Spain on Friday 19 October 2018.