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Thursday, March 25, 2021

'Overcrowding still a major problem in custodial centres' - ITREALMS

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Despite the enactment of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) Act 2019 which provides for non-custodial sentencing, overcrowding of inmates is still major problem confronting the service, Acting Comptroller General of Corrections, John Mrabure said on Wednesday.

The Acting CG said since the implementation of the Act began, personnel of the service have been blind to the full potentials of the new law and require training to grasp the full provisions of the law.



He said this while delivering his special remarks during the training on 'development of monitoring and evaluation framework for administering non-custodial measures ", organised by the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) in Abuja, and supported by RoLAC and the British Council .

Mrabure described the training as Apt and timely. commended PRAWA for the training and their support to the service.

The Deputy Comptroller General of Corrections/Non-custodial Directorate, Tunde Oladipo, also speaking noted that the directorate, which was created to facilitate the implementation of non custodial measures which is expected to tackle the problem of overcrowding and ensure effective rehabilitation and reintegration process cannot operate effectively due to paucity of funds.

He appealed to all relevant stakeholders to make provisions for funding of the directorate.

The House Committee Chair, Reformatory institutions, Edwin Anayo however assured the service that the National Assembly is working to make budgetary provisions for the non-custodial directorate.

Anayo said the directorate is expected to start receiving funding when the next budget is prepared or before it (supplementary budget).

"The committee is passionate about proper functioning of the service, in line with global best practice on correctional matters. I want to assure you in this gathering, that the non budgetary allocation of these non custodial directorate will soon be over", he assured.

He noted that the current state of Nigeria's correctional facilities including Foster homes, emphasized the need for effective implementation of the non custodial measures as contained in the Act 2019.

"Non custodial measures provides grater possibility for rehabilitation and constructive reintegration of offenders into the society", Anayo added.

Uju Agomoh, Executive Director PRAWA, explained that the objective of the workshops is to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework that can be used to track the effective implementation of non-custodial measures in Nigeria.

She added that the training will build capacity of participants and identify possible challenges to effective monitoring and evaluation and ways of dressing them.

Agomoh noted that PRAWA have conducted atleast 30 capacity training workshop to enhance implementation of non custodial measures in the country.

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