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Youths raise concerns on inmates welfare, advocate correction facilities decongestion

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

After different visits to correctional homes in Nigeria, a youth-based organisation, YouthRise Nigeria, has expressed concerns over the inmates’ welfare at the centers, saying, there is a need for proper hygiene within the centers.

YouthRise asked the Federal Government to initiate policies and programme towards addressing the challenges facing inmates particularly the females which sexual reproductive healths and rights must be considered,

The organisation raised the concern during an advocacy campaign designed to promote evidence-based knowledge and awareness on reformation of correctional centers in the country and donation of relief materials at Kirikiri Female Custodial Centre in Lagos.

YouthRise, through a statement made available to newsmen, hinted that its primary agenda was to ensure the apex government carries out a criminal justice reform system in the country.

According to the group, a reform that its primary focus would be to provide an alternative to incarceration for low-level drug offenders, considering the over-crowded condition of custodial centres in the country.

The NGO further encouraged governments to foster an enabling environment for self and environmental hygiene/welfare and social development for effective reintegration into society after servicing their term in the centers.

While donating communication materials on COVID-19 to the facility, the group representatives led by led by Albert Oko, Chidi Edemanya, and Bolaji Akinduntire, appealed that officials adhere to proper procedures during interactions with inmates.

The correctional facility was also provided relief materials which include; PPE, hygiene kits, and other essential materials that could help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic among inmates.

Receiving the items, the Deputy In-Charge of Kirikri Female Custodial Centre, Uwakwe V.C, identified inability of some inmates to meet their bail conditions as part of reasons for overcrowding at the facilities.

Uwakwe appealed to Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations to assist inmates unable to meet their bail conditions do so in order to decongest correctional facility.

The facility officer, meanwhile, commended the organisation for the care shown towards inmates and staff at the correctional facility particularly when the world is battling with coronavirus.

According to her, “We are happy to receive this donation, we know the virus has no limits we are glad you had us in mind and you came to show that you care for the downtrodden.

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