President Muhammadu Buhari has signed two bills into law; the Nigeria Correctional Service Act and the Federal Universities of Agriculture amendment Act.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang revealed this to Journalists on Wednesday.
Enang said the Correctional Services Act now replaces the Nigeria Prisons Service which that of the Universities of Agriculture allows for the change of the name of the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi to Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University of Agriculture.
He said: “His Excellency the President has assented to two important bills, the Nigeria Correctional Services Act and the Federal Universities of Agriculture Amendment No 2 Act. The Correctional Services Act changes the name of the Nigeria Prisons Service to Nigeria Correctional Service while the second bill changes the name of the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi to Joseph Tarka University of Agriculture, Makurdi.”
Training of Inmates
The Presidential aide said the correctional service act now gives room for the training of inmates in various vocations, while in custody.
He further said the Act has two faculties; custodial and non-custodial services.
“There are, according to the Act, two main faculties of the Correctional Service, namely: Custodial Service and Non-custodial Service
The Custodial Service is to keep you in custody and take control of persons legally interned in safe, secure and humane conditions, conveying remand persons to and from courts in motorized formation, identifying the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates, conducting risk and needs assessment aimed at developing appropriate correctional treatment methods for reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration, implementing reformation and rehabilitation programmes to enhance the reintegration of inmates back into the society, initiating behaviour modification in inmates through the provision of medical, psychological, spiritual and counselling services for all offenders including violent extremists, empowering inmates through the deployment of educational and vocational skills training programmes, and facilitating incentives and income generation through Custodial Centres, farms and industries, administering borstal and related institutions, and Providing support to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases of persons awaiting trial; and It further provides in Section 12 (2) (c):
“that where an inmate sentenced to death has exhausted all legal procedures for appeal and a period of 10 years has elapsed without execution of the sentence, the Chief Judge may commute the sentence of death to life imprisonment. And Section 12 (8) empowers the state Controller of the Service to reject more intakes of inmates where it is apparent that the correctional centre in question is filled to capacity,” he explained.
According to the Senior Special Assistant, the non-custodial faculty of the Correctional Service is responsible for the administration of non-custodial measures in order to make inmates more useful to the society after serving their terms.
He said: “The non-custodial services include: Community Service, probation, parole, restorative justice measures and such other measures as a court of competent jurisdiction may order. Restorative Justice measure approved in the Act include victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, community mediation and other conciliatory measures as may be deemed necessary pre-trial, trial during imprisonment or even post- imprisonment stages.”