NGO trains correctional service officers on non-custodial measures



The Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, a Non-Governmental Organisation says it is training correctional service officers in some states of the country on implementing non-custodial measures.


Mrs Chioma Anuna-Ogbo, the group’s Head of Office made the disclosure in Abakalki in an interview, noting that such training is under the de-criminalisation and de-classification of petty offences project in Nigeria, originally piloted in Abia, Kano, Enugu, Abuja and Lagos.


“We are however taking part of the project’s activity to Ebonyi which is training of correctional service officers on effective implementation of non-custodial measures.


“We advocate the use of non-custodial measures for petty offences such as wandering, prostitution, begging for alms in restricted areas among others.


“We advocate that instead of sending them to custodial centres, relevant authorities should employ non-custodial means for punishment since there is currently an enabling law to that effect.


“This would prevent them from being exposed to high-risk offenders who would turn them to menaces to the society.


She said that the group propagates the African commission for human and peoples right principles adopted in 2001 on decriminalisation and de-classification of petty offences.


“This principle demands that countries decriminalise and de-classify offences which criminalise life-sustaining activities mostly engaged by the poor or vulnerable in the society.


“No one would arrest individuals engaging in responsible ventures but vagabonds, idlers, prostitutes, those who beg for alms in restricted areas among others, are arrested for such offences.”


Anuna-Ogbo solicited for the cooperation of relevant stakeholders to enable the group achieve its objectives for the benefit of the society.


“Effective implementation of such non-custodial measures would impact positively on the nation’s criminal justice system.


“The custodial service officers would be trained on specific non-custodial measures provided in related acts and legal frameworks."

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