Written by Ere-ebi AGEDAH

Foundation lauds Buhari over Correctional Centre Act

A non-governmental organization, Reflector Reachout Foundation, has lauded President Muhammudu Buhari over signing the Correctional Centre Bill into law and subsequent changing of the Nigeria Prison Services to Correctional Centre for Inmates.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the Executive Director of the foundation, Ifubaraboye Dim-Oba, said it is bold step towards restorative justice in the country where inmates will leave centers and still contribute meaningful to society rather become harden criminals after serving out their terms.

According to Dim-Oba, the conversion is long overdue as the previous structure of the Nigerian Prison is never serving its true purpose in the administration of criminal justice in the country adding that inmates return from serving their terms unrepentant.

“Most times, inmates come from serving their various terms as unrepentant due to the posture of the Nigerian prison where the prison wards carry out their duties in an unfriendly manner that harden the skin of the inmates. Remanding criminals should be an effort to restore them back to society.

“This new law, Correctional Center Law is a fantastic idea by both the framers and the kind consideration given to it by the 8th National Assembly and its subsequent passage to law.  It will help to restructure the minds of prison wards and its staff. To provide better measures of serving inmates.

“Actually, despite being a correctional center, it can serve as a productive and learning environment for inmate which can be beneficial to society.  The correctional center can be economy productive hubs where a particular center can be devoted to producing a particular product”, he said.

He further noted that apart from the passage of the law, government should take urgent steps to address issues of infrastructure development and calls for proper funding of the various centers to run smoothly without hiccups.

Dim-Oba called on judges in the country to pursue restorative justice where inmates can sentenced through community service, probation and fines rather that mandatory jail terms that will harden criminals.



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