NCoS, PRAWA move to decongest Custodial Centres nationwide

Posted by News Express | 1 September 2020 | 437 times

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The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Ja’afaru Ahmed, has decried the overcrowded state of custodial centres (prisons) across the country, lamenting that it is a burden on the country’s economy, her infrastructure.

It said it has intensified moves to decongest the centres through non-custodial sentencing.

Ahmed said this during the training of State and Zonal Correctional Officers on effective implementation of non-custodial measures in collaboration with the Prison Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) in Abuja.

According to Ahmed, who was represented by the Deputy Comptroller General, Human Resources, John Mrabure, congestion of custodial centres is the biggest challenge of the NCS, but assured that correctional the service is not resting till all necessary machinery is in place to deliver on its renewed mandate, the implementation of non-custodial sentencing.

“This training is very strategic and provides the basic Foundation required from various correctional centres that can be placed side by side with contemporaries in other climes,” he said.

Ahmed recalled that during the lockdown, over 23,000 persons were convicted and made to undergo community service in the FCT command alone.

“So imagine if the 23,000 convicts were kept in the prisons, you know what the means on the economy of the country.

“Under the non-custodial sentencing, persons convicted either carry out community service, undergo parole, probation or restorative justice and this will help Nigerians who are convicted to undergo certain training to be reformed, so that at the end, they will be reintegrated,” he added.

Ahmed added that in the last One year, the NCS have made some number of adjustments to accommodate the new order.

He thanked PRAWA and The British Council for All the Support Extended to the service.

The Executive Director of PRAWA, Dr Uju Agomoh, said the Aim and purpose of the training is focused on building the skills and capacities of the Officers that are designated to be implement the non-custodial measures across the Country as provided in the Nigerian Correctional Service Act of 2019.

Agomoh decried that several convicts in are not supposed to be in prison, hence, the problem of congestion and high number of inmates awaiting trial in different correctional centres across the country.

She noted that the new law provides guidelines and steps in tackling the problem, one of such she harped, is the utilisation of noncustodial measures.

Agomoh said after the training, the officers are expected to go back to their respective commands with knowledge gained to impact positively to their various commands.

Source: News Express

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