State Govt To Now Build, Manage Correctional Centres – Aregbesola

State Governments Mandated to Build and Manage Correctional Facilities

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has announced that state governments in Nigeria are now legally obligated to construct and oversee correctional facilities.

State Govt To Now Build, Manage Correctional Centres - Aregbesola
Rauf Aregbesola

This development comes as a result of President Muhammadu Buhari signing 16 constitutional amendment bills on March 17, which included the redesignation of correctional services on the concurrent legislative list.

Traditionally, matters concerning “prisons” were solely under the jurisdiction of the federal government. However, with the recent constitutional amendment, the responsibility has been decentralized, granting states the authority to establish and manage their own correctional centres.

During a two-day conference on decongestion and corrections management held in Abuja, Minister Aregbesola highlighted the implications of the constitutional amendment.

He emphasized that states are now empowered to not only provide facilities for housing offenders convicted of state offences but also to cater to their feeding and accommodation needs.

The minister clarified, “This implies that states lacking correctional facilities will be required to compensate the federal government for the feeding and housing of their inmates.”

“Until the amendment, the federal government solely oversaw custodial centres across the nation.

“However, with the revised constitution, the burden has shifted to the states to establish correctional facilities capable of accommodating and rehabilitating offenders found guilty of state offences.

“For states unable to construct their own custodial centres, the option to collaborate with the federal government in managing the feeding and housing of state offenders remains open.

Aregbesola also expressed confidence in the potential for fruitful cooperation between the federal and state authorities in addressing this matter.

The constitutional amendment is expected to pave the way for significant changes in the criminal justice system, as states assume greater responsibility for the rehabilitation and care of inmates.

This move is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of correctional services, ultimately contributing to the overall goal of reducing crime and ensuring a safer society.

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