Luk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free.
CJMR works for the release of illegal detainees, and review of the cases of those on long imprisonment or death sentence. We hire lawyers to plead their cases.
When released, We hosts them in the halfway home under 48 hours or 72 hours for reorientation and initiates reconciliation between them, their families, and the larger society where it is necessary.
Due to series of complaint of wrongful conviction from inmates on death row in Maximum Security Correctional Service in Lagos and Ogun state, Pastor Hezekiah Deboboye Olujobi, the founder of CJMR, initiated an Independent Investigative mission to review the court proceedings on such individual. Through this innovative approach a 5-man committee of lawyers and laymen was set up to review the whole judgment of the court including the case files.
Some cases were recommended to lawyers who took up the case to the Court of Appeal. Some cases were won at the court of Appeal while some were won at the Supreme Court. Others who maintained their innocence regained their freedom at the Board of Prerogatives of Mercy after series of appeal.
So far, through this initiative 10 inmates have gained their freedom from death row. A good example is the case of Olusola Adepetu who was sentence to death based on public adverse opinion, whose appeal failed even to the Supreme Court in 1998.
In 2015, Center for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation through her independent investigation carried out a review on the judgment of the court that convicted Olusola Adepetu from the High Court to the Supreme Court. During the reading of the judgment CJMR stumbled at the dissenting judgment of one of the judges who teared down all the judgment of the lower Courts and discharged Olusola Adepetu and acquitted as far back as 1998. In year 2015 CJMR used the dissenting judgment to appeal for the total freedom of Olusola Adepetu and in October 2016 the man was set free by the Oyo State Government after 26years in prison.
In a recent case the innocence of Obasi Onyenye was proved and he regained his freedom in 2019 after 17 years in prison. In the same year Moruf Bolanle also regained his freedom after 22 years.
1. Before we render any service to an inmate, we must have enrolled such inmate on our monitoring and corrective programme while he or she is still in the prison.
2. The person must have been touched by the Holy Spirit and by the leading of the Holy Spirit we are led to take up his or her case.
3. The inmate must be under our supervision for at least one year before we admit such to the Halfway Home.
4. We must have had contact with his relation before his freedom. (Nobody fall from heaven)
5. We must understand their bad habit and always counsel them to work on it. (As we often tell them, “The way you live your life here will determine your future after you leave the Prison)
6. We create more time to be with them on a one-on-one basis while they are in prison for counselling and mentoring. (As a result of this, we build their confidence in our relationship with us)
7. We build relationship and develop trust among them to monitor themselves.
8. We get report on the individual through our internal monitoring gents among them and confront them when it is necessary.
9. One of the greatest keys you can use to get to their hearts is the promise of freedom and shelter upon freedom, of
which we often deliver.
10. We maintain contact with them after leaving the Half-way Home by contacting their relations and doing a proper handing over.
11. We visit them or call them on phone from time to time to monitor their progress.
12. We solicit funds and other resources on their behalf to equip them for rehabilitation. Unless we go for them, nobody wants to believe their story. (We stand in the gap for them).
13. When in the Halfway-Home we train them on the right attitude for rehabilitation. (When you are teaching them on the right attitude you must also conduct yourself in the right attitude. Be the first example).
1. We don’t take them about soliciting for fund.
2. We don’t present one case to various churches or individual that is dishonest.
3. We don’t raise fund on behalf of them without evidence of delivery.
4. We don’t present a story that does not exist.
5. We don’t give aid to criminals to escape justice. We don’t support any attempt to cheat or shortcut justice.
6. We don’t intervene in any case with emotional sentiment.
7. We don’t give up our hope on those that prove hard as we believe in second chance.
8. We don’t allow them to be going about with a testimony that is not true. (We examine their testimonies and investigate their stories).
9. We don’t take money from them or their relations when we are helping them.
10. We don’t admit inmates on referral. We help only the inmates that we have known from prison. Inmates referred to us by people or organizations or churches have created serious problems for us in the past.
11. We don’t influence any matter to favour the guilty offender.
Without building your relationship from within the prison, it is impossible to successfully rehabilitate any inmate. The Bible says “Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
10. I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
When you see them going about begging with excuses that they just left the prison, they are looking for immediate assistance to meet their immediate needs such as drugs or food or other things best known to them to satisfy their appetite. So if you are talking about salvation with such a person or you are planning rehabilitation for such, it can’t work. Even while in the prison their devotion is not guaranteed, because you don’t know what they do after leaving the chapel to their various cells.
The Halfway Home was created to provide opportunity for them for safety reentry in terms of how to behave well in the society and empower them economically to survive and overcome the hurdles ahead of them.