Prison congestion: NCS official canvasses use of non-custodial measures

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Mr Okunola Adebayo, the Assistant Controller of Corrections, Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS), Kwara Command, has advocated for use of non-custodial measures in punishing offenders to reduce congestion in correctional centres across the country.


Adebayo made the call on the sidelines of a two-day Performance Appraisal Workshop on the Legal Framework on Parole and the Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria, in Ilorin on Friday.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that victims should not always rush to take cases to court, but should endeavour to explore other means, such as alternative dispute resolution, out of court settlement and community service.


”One of the ways to reduce congestion of our custodial centres is the introduction of non-custodial measures, which include the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
”For instance, instead of allowing all cases to go through the court process, we should use the ADR vis-a-vis restorative justice. We should try to mediate between warring parties to ensure out of court settlements.


”Another way is through community service. Menial offences that are not criminal in nature, instead of giving them jail term, you can make them go through community service.
”Those are some of the measures that the present Comptroller-General of NCS is encouraging judicial personnel to explore,” he said.
NAN reports that the workshop, which started on Thursday, had representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Federation of Women Lawyers, National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria Police Force, Legal Aid Council, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs and Nigeria Customs Service in attendance.
NAN also reports that the workshop was organised by Cleen Foundation, with support from MacArthur Foundation. (NAN)

National growth LS

By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus

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