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How correctional centres could be decongested- NHRC

The Head, Monitoring Department, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Benedict Agu has said that non-detention of simple offenders would reduce the congestion in correctional…

The Head, Monitoring Department, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Benedict Agu has said that non-detention of simple offenders would reduce the congestion in correctional centres.

Speaking during a media parley in Abuja, he said the law defined what offences were simple and capital alongside punishment attached to them.

He said most of the prisons were built over a long time and meant for several persons, hence a lot of people had taken to crime due to the bad economy of the country and were remanded in the correctional centres. 

Agu explained that because the correctional centres were overstretched, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 was introduced and specified that there should be non-custodial sentencing for non-serious offences.

He said cases such as hawking on the streets amongst other simple offences do not deserve remanding in the correctional centres as the harsh economy and need for survival led the people to it, hence, cases such as murder among other capital offences deserved remanding in the centers. 

He said there were offences where the judges should just pronounce punishments such as flogging, sweeping the court, and community service rather than being sent to the correctional centres.

Agu explained that solving congestion in correctional centers had to do with the government making provisions for institutions facilities to manage the society noting that they should make an appropriation to build more correctional centers.