Group wants non-custodial sentences for petty offenders to aid decongestion
Anon-governmental organisation, Legal Assistance and Citizens Rights Initiative, has called for the non-custodial sentences for petty offences as part of efforts to decongest correctional centres across the country.
It said the measure would also decriminalise petty offences and further strengthen the criminal justice system.
The executive Secretary of LACRI, Mr Arinze Odiari, made the call while speaking at a workshop on the development of an action plan for decriminalisation of petty offences in South-west pilot States (Lagos and Oyo) in Lagos.
The two-day workshop was organised by the National human Rights Commission, with support from the Network of African National human Rights Institutions, according to a statement titled, ‘Congestion: LACRI advocates against imprisonment for petty offences,’ on Saturday.
Odiari said such non-custodial sentences would help reduce congestion in our correctional centers and reduce the discrimination against the vulnerable in the society.
According to him, community service should completely take the place of fines as the poor were usually not able to pay these fines as ordered by the courts and as a result were thrown into prison, thereby causing further hardship on the poor who are already victims of lack of social security.
Also speaking, NHRC’S Deputy Director, Investigation, Mr Iheme Richmond, emphasised the need to underscore the economic, social and cultural implications of petty offences with the aim of addressing challenges of social security in the country.