President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the billing changing the name of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) to Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
The presidential assent to the act repealed the NPS Act, the presidential aide on National Assembly (Senate), Sen Ita Enang said yesterday.
According to the Act, there are two main faculties of the Correctional Service, namely Custodial Service and Non-Custodial Service.
He said the Custodial Service would take custody and control of persons legally interned in safe, secure and humane conditions. It also has mandate to be conveying remand persons to and from courts in motorized formations; identifying the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates; conducting risk and needs assessment aimed at developing appropriate correctional treatment methods for reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration; Implementing reformation and rehabilitation programmes to enhance the reintegration of inmates back into the society and initiating behavior modification in inmates through the provision of medical, psychological, spiritual and counseling services for all offenders including violent extremists. It is also mandated to empower inmates through the deployment of educational and vocational skills training programmes, and facilitating incentives and income generation through Custodial Centres, farms and industries, administering borstal and related institutions; providing support to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases of persons awaiting trial. It further provides in Section 12 (2) (c): “that where an inmate sentenced to death has exhausted all legal procedures for appeal and a period of 10 years has elapsed without execution of the sentence, the Chief Judge may commute the sentence of death to life imprisonment. And Section 12 (8) empowers the state Controller of the Service to reject more intakes of inmates where it is apparent that the correctional centre in question is filled to capacity.
The non-custodial faculty of the Correctional Service would be responsible for the administration of non-custodial measures, namely: Community Service, probation, parole, restorative justice measures and such other measures as a court of competent jurisdiction may order. Restorative Justice measure approved in the Act include victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, community mediation and other conciliatory measures as may be deemed necessary pre-trial, trial during imprisonment or even post- imprisonment stages.
Similarly, the president has also assented to assented to the Federal Universities of Agriculture (Amendment No.2) Act, 2019 “This Act amends the Federal Universities of Agriculture Act, Cap. F22, Law of the Federation of Nigeria to change the name of the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi in Benue State to Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi,” he said.