From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The Prisoner’s Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) on Tuesday continued its advocacy for the implementation of non-custodial measures and decriminalization of petty offences in Enugu State.
Speaking at a consultative workshop for government agencies and relevant stakeholders in Enugu PRAWA’s Head of Office, Mrs Chioma Anuna, said that criminal laws must be reviewed to decriminalise and declassify petty offences in the state.
“At times, you notice that most people in custodial centres are there basically for petty offences where they are trying to eke out a daily living.
“So, to punish such offenders if necessary; non-custodial measures that would not put more hardship on the person or his independents is the best way to go”.
On his part, the Controller of Corrections in Enugu State, Mr Joseph Emelue, said that Prison Act was repealed and replaced with the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Act 2019, enacted to make provision for the administration of custodial and non-custodial measures.
Emelue explained that non-custodial measures are punishment given to offenders without necessarily sending them to custodian centres; thus, ensuring that the offender remains in the society while serving out his punishment.
He said that the non-custodial measures included; community service; probation; parole; restorative justice and any other non-custodial measure assigned to the correctional service by a court.
The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Priscilla Emehelu, who was represented by Justice Raymond Ozoemena, said that the state judiciary was participating actively and fully in the workshop to learn more and further understand non-custodial measures.