Jennifer Smith
Fri, Aug 11, 2023 7:50 AM

Decline in Number of Pre-Trial Inmates in Nigerian Correctional Service Custody

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Decline in Number of Pre-Trial Inmates in Nigerian Correctional Service Custody
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has reported a decline in the number of pre-trial inmates in its custody. The Controller-General of NCoS, Haliru Nababa, highlighted the improved access to justice for awaiting trial inmates, attributing the decline to the enhanced logistics support provided by the service. With access to court proceedings being prioritized, the NCoS aims to minimize instances of inmates missing their court dates due to mobility challenges. Nababa also acknowledged the significant challenge of managing a high number of pre-trial detainees, especially in relation to overcrowding. He emphasized the positive impact of the Correctional Information Management System (CIMS), which helps manage the cases of awaiting trial inmates effectively.

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has announced a decline in the number of pre-trial inmates held in its custody, reflecting improved access to justice. According to the Controller-General of NCoS, Haliru Nababa, the reduction is attributed to the recent significant improvement in logistics support provided to the service. This development has mitigated the issue of inmates missing their court dates due to mobility constraints, thereby bolstering the inherent access to justice for awaiting trial inmates.

As of July 31, 2023, the NCoS revealed that out of a total of 79,076 inmates, approximately 69% (54,171) were awaiting trial, while the remaining 31% (24,905) were convicted. This disparity underscores the considerable challenge faced by the NCoS in managing such a high number of pre-trial detainees while grappling with issues of overcrowding.

Controller-General Nababa highlighted the positive intervention of the Correctional Information Management System (CIMS) in addressing these challenges. CIMS has been developed to systematically manage the cases of Awaiting Trial Inmates (ATI), ensuring effective administration of the custodial centers and easy accessibility to relevant inmate data.

He noted, "The era of inmates missing their day in court due to lack of mobility has been mitigated to the barest minimum. This feat is better appreciated with knowledge of the disposition of inmates in NCoS custody."

Despite the progress made, stakeholders have emphasized the need for increased global action to enhance response and fairness in prisoners' justice. To this end, an International Conference on Prisons Justice, themed 'Enhancing Global Response to Prisoners' Justice,' was held in Abuja. The event aimed to provide far-reaching solutions to reshape the criminal justice system for greater efficiency.

The conference convener, Rev. Fr. Victor Nyoroh, highlighted the significance of August 10th as the official day to honor prisoners and their supporters, commemorating those who died prematurely while in prison.

Efforts to improve the justice system and address the challenges faced by pre-trial inmates are essential for a fair and effective criminal justice system. The NCoS will continue to work towards enhancing access to justice, managing overcrowding, and implementing innovative systems to better serve the custodial needs of inmates.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-11 News

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