LAGOS – Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said yesterday that the law governing the Nigerian Prisons needed to be reformed.
Auwal told newsmen that the current situation of the prisons had further hardened inmates instead of reforming them.
“We have discovered that Nigeria prisons have become a centre where inmates are being trained to become hardened criminals.
“Government has to look into the law governing the prisons and also amend the act.
“The prison must not be a place to learn bad things, it is a place to learn good things during the years of serving jail terms,’’ he said.
He noted that 85 percent of inmates were being remanded over simple disputes and as such congesting the prisons.
“Eighty-five percent of inmates are awaiting trial, government needs to look for a more effective way of settling simple disputes instead of remand at all times.
“This is affecting the administrative system of the prisons.
“Community service should be adopted in punishing simple offenders than keeping them all in the prisons,’’ Auwal said.
Also speaking, a lawyer, Mr. Richard Somade, said that the prisons needed to be decongested in order to reform the inmates.
Somade said that the welfare of the inmates needed to be properly taken care of for a good reformation to take place.
“The Nigerian prisons need to be decongested, harden and dangerous criminals shouldn’t be lumped with simple offenders.
“The prisons need to be rehabilitated often since the number of inmates to be accommodated in them has been over stretched.
“There has to be better accommodation for the inmates,’’ he said.
Somade advised that more productive interaction should be between the inmates and their parole officers.