The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), says the Federal Government is currently renovating and expanding custodial centres across the country to decongest them.
Mr Abubakar Umar, Public Relations Officer of the Service, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Umar explained that the issue of decongestion would be minimised with the step the federal government had taken in ensuring the facilities were in good shape.
According to him, we are increasing the capacity of our custodial facilities nationwide.
“Presently, the service is also constructing six new ultra-modern custodial centres with 3,000 capacity in each of the geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“In a matter of weeks, the one located in Janguza, Kano State, will be commissioned and put to use.
“With these facilities coming on board, the issue of decongestion will be a forgotten issue in Nigeria,” he said.
He also said the service had adopted a systematic procedure in eradicating the conundrum of congested facilities.
He noted that the introduction of non-custodial sanctions such as parole, probation, community service, restorative justice, suspended sentence, among others, had diverted some of the offenders who would have been in custody.
He added that offenders with minor offences were rather sent on community supervision, adding that with this, custodial facilities were freed of the numbers.
“There are other efforts which we are applying in decongesting our facilities such as encouraging regular jail delivery, pushing for clemency for offenders who qualify for it, and capacity building.
“Also, the NCoS Act 2019 in Section 12, sub section 8, empowers the Controller of Corrections in conjunction with the Officer-in-Charge of the custodial centre to reject intake of offenders when it is apparent that the facility is filled to capacity.