Legal Nigeria

NCoS addressing overcrowding in centres, says spokesman

Nigerian Correctional Services, Kirikiri

The Nigerian Correctional Service is adopting multi-dimensional ways to address overcrowding in custodial centres across the country, its spokesman, Abubakar Umar, said on Sunday.

Umar, in Abuja, said that one such way was through the construction of mega custodial facilities in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

“Presently, we are constructing 3000-capacity mega custodial centres in each of 4the six geopolitical zones of the country.

“The one located in the North-West zone has been inaugurated and fully functional now. In no distant time, others will come once stream.

“Secondly, we are diversifying to the use of non-custodial measures, which does not require the offender to serve imprisonment; this measure is used for offenders with less serious crimes.

“The offender is mandated to serve the punitive measure in the community, under supervision of correctional officials known as non-custodial officers.

“Other measures we are employing to curtail the spate of overcrowding of our facilities include proper synergy with the courts and stakeholders for regular jail delivery exercises, clemency, and facilitating bails

“All these are targeted towards decongesting our facilities and making them habitable for effective reformation and rehabilitation to take place, he said.

Umar said that the reformation, rehabilitation, and reintegration of offenders have been upscale since the introduction of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019.

He said the service has numerous workshops and skills acquisition centres for the training of inmates in various handwork.

“In terms of education, we have entered into a partnership with the National Open University of Nigeria to expand educational service in our facilities.

“Currently, our custodial centres are more-or-less schools, where inmates are given the opportunity to carry on with their studies while serving their terms concurrently.

“We also provide starter packs for discharged inmates who have undergone reformatory programmes in various skills and vocations,” he said.


Source: The Punch

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