A three day strategic workshop to deepen prison reforms begins on Monday in Abuja, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has announced.
The forum will bring together various stakeholders to discuss strategies for effective implementation of the Correctional Service Act, 2019, said a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations in the Ministry of Justice.
The workshop, organised by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in collaboration with the Presidential Committee on Prisons Reform and Decongestion of Prisons and Nigerian Correctional Service, is designed to sensitize stakeholders , especially Justice Sector Institutions on the salient provisions of the Act. It will also produce a road map for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act on non-custodial Measures.
“The workshop is coming up as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the decongestion of prisons in Nigeria and towards the actualization of the implementation of Correctional Service Bill, 2019 into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in August,” the Minister said.
The Act repealed the Prisons Act, Cap P29, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and provides legal and institutional framework for the new Nigerian Correctional Service. The provisions of the Act has been adjudged to be comprehensive and in compliance with International Human Rights Standards and good correctional practices.
“The workshop provides a veritable platform for the overview and comparative analysis of the Correctional Serice Act, 2019. It will also engage participants to work together towards the development of a strategic Action Plan to support the deployment of non-custodial services as provided by the Act,” said Malami.
The Act also provides for the rights of Correctional Centres and led down enabling rules for the Implementation of Non-Custodial Measures as well as the establishment of institutional and sustainable mechanisms to address increasing cases of delayed and prolonged trial.
Expected at the workshop are relevant stakeholders in the prison reform process, including 36 State Attorneys-General, 36 state Chief Judges, Nigerian Correctional Service Officials, Law Enforcement Agencies, Rule of Law Experts, representatives of Civil Society Organisations and other participants from the six geo-political zones.