A team from Nigerian Correctional Services, Anambra Command has conveyed the new laws, guiding their services to the Ojoto community as signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The event took place during a courtesy visit to the Transitional Chairman of Idemili South Local Government (LGA), Mr Don Unachukwu.Public Relations Officer of the Correctional Services, Awka, DSC Francis Ekezie said that as a result of the ongoing reforms in their parastatal, offences had been categorised into custodian and non-custodial offences.
“The custodian category is for serious offences like murder and armed robbery, which will attract jail terms if found guilty, while non-custodian category is minor offences such as fighting and theft of items like fowl and goat.
“The punishment for non-custodial offences will be community services rendered by offenders over a period of months to ensure they are remorseful for their bad deeds,’’ he said.
Mr Ekezie explained that the offender and the offended would be reconciled based on forgiveness after the punishment had been served.
The PRO noted that before the new act came into being, the service employed the British style of correction which became obsolete after the amendment from Nigerian Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Services.
He said that over time, when the minor offenders are sent to prison for minor offences, they end up being hardened and worse than they were before serving their terms.
He, however, requested for an office in the LGA secretariat to enhance their work.
Idemili South Transitional Chairman, Mr Don Unachukwu said that the new system would be a welcome development, which would help to improve the society.
Mr Unachukwu said that the LGA had allocated offices to many Federal Government bodies and as such, promised to grant the Correctional Service an office within the next four working days.
The officer in charge of the non-custodial offences, DCC Mrs Eche expressed her satisfaction with the warm reception accorded them, saying that of all the LGAs they had visited, Idemili South was the first to promise them an office.
The new acts were handed over to the Traditional Chairman by the team.