The Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) are kicking against the imprisonment of offenders with minor crimes as a way to decongest the prisons and save taxpayers’ money used to feed them.
It was revealed that most minor crimes could be reconciled and settled out of court rather than incarcerating the accused who will be fed with taxpayers’ money, and further congest the prisons.
Programmes Officer. Katsumi Iboirien disclosed on Monday during PRAWA’s second coordination meeting.
According to her, minor offences such as traffic violations, loitering, hawking and others which attract less than N10,000 fine, should not lead to jail.
She noted that offenders who are unable to pay such fine were often thrown into Correctional Centres to further congest the facility.
She, therefore, advocated for the decriminalization of such petty offences, saying with a high number of unconvicted offenders awaiting trial, it had become imperative to address some of the apparent challenges within the Nigerian Criminal Justice system.
The problem of congestion, especially among pre-trial prisoners, has continued to be wrongly addressed even after decades of independence.