Foundation Decries Prison Congestion

CLEEN Foundation has declared that the congestion in Nigerian prison facilities has reached a crisis level, with many inmates languishing behind bars due to the non-implementation of parole.

Its director of programme, Salaudeen Hakeem, said several lives had been lost in prison jailbreaks across the country in the past five years, with 17 attacks recorded during the same period.

At a two-day performance appraisal workshop on the legal framework of parole and the administration of criminal justice law in Nigeria, Hakeem attributed the congestion and subsequent jailbreaks to the failure of many states to implement parole.

The development, he said, had left many inmates who could be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society languishing in overcrowded facilities.

Hakeem cited examples of inmates who require as little as N15,000 to regain their freedom but have been stuck in prison for over ten years due to the non-implementation of parole.

The workshop, held in Katsina State, aimed to address the gaps in existing laws and provide recommendations to make the criminal justice system more effective. The discussion’s outcome will be compiled into a policy advisory document to be sent to various stakeholders for implementation.

The CLEEN Foundation called for urgent reforms to address the congestion and ensure the effective administration of criminal justice in Katsina State and Nigeria.

The state parole officer, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nazif Danmusa, described the stakeholders’ meeting as a welcome development.

He said, “We look forward to implementing non-custodian measures in section 37 of the Nigeria Correctional Service Act, which states that parole can be given to offenders who demonstrate good character during their stay.”

 

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