The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has disclosed that the amended Correctional Service Act permits state governments to establish their correctional facilities in their respective states. This is part of on- going efforts to decongest the existing facilities as well emplace the right conditions to enable reformation of the inmates.
The Minister stated this during a high level conference on Decongestion and Correction Administration organised by Ministry of Interior at Intercontinental Hotel, Abuja. He reiterated that the amendment of the act was premised on the need to drive a reform of the country’s custodial facilities anchored on reformation and development of inmates.
He encouraged state governments through their state Attorneys General and Commissioners of Justice and Chief Judges of the states present at the event, to establish their custodial facilities in line with the new provisions of the law.
Aregbesola drew attention to the gloomy picture of the present conditions of the country’s custodial facilities which he confessed is not delivering the needed rehabilitation and reformation to the inmates.
He assured that the reforms would decongest the country’s custodial facilities and bring in efficient, effective and sustainable solutions for viable and achievable results which will lead to decency in the lives of inmates after serving their terms as it will contribute to the development of his community and the country at large.
Aregbesola decried the level of congestion at the facilities which he alluded were largely populated by state offenders who in most cases remain there due to inability to settle their debts and fines ranging between five thousand and above, or refusal to observed sanitation laws.
He lamented the high cost of expenditure the Ministry has to bear on feeding and other essential needs for the inmates.
He further expressed displeasure on the continuing rise in the number of inmates awaiting trial in the custodial facilities stressing that some of them have stayed more than double the period they ought to have served if convicted.