Map of Nasarawa State
A Non-governmental organization, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, has urged officers of the Nigeria Police Force and Judiciary workers in Nasarawa state to use the restorative justice platform which was recently introduced in the criminal justice system to tackle minor crimes in the state.
The restorative justice system provides an opportunity for the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and their communities.
Speaking on Thursday in Lafia, during a one-day sensitisation training programme for police officers and judiciary workers in Nasarawa on restorative justice, Deputy Director of PRAWA, Ogechi Ogu, said that the training became necessary in order to decongest correctional facilities in the state.
She explained that so many citizens of the country were locked up in correctional facilities for minor crimes, saying that if the system of restorative justice was applied, it would help in decongesting Nigeria prisons.
“It Is not every case that must go to court and people should not be detained in every case. There are certain cases that can be settled at the level of the police who are in charge of alternative dispute resolution.
“So many people are in correctional facilities for minor cases which could have been settled if restorative justice was applied. The reason for this training is ensure collaboration between the police, correctional officers and the judiciary so that we can decongest our prisons”, she said.
Ugo urged security agencies in the state to create a platform to interface with the judiciary in order to avert the regular delay in the delivery of criminal justice.
“We all know that there is usually a delay in the delivery of criminal justice in Nigeria and there are so many factors that are responsible for it, but one of the major factors is communication gap between security agencies and the judiciary. So I think that if they can close the gap, our prisons will be decongested”, she added.