The Oyo State Judiciary said on Thursday that for the state’s community service punishment scheme to continue, the state government must be responsible for funding it, as the scheme was put in place. place by Oyo State law.
Chief Justice of Oyo State, Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola, represented by Justice Omolara Adeyemi, made this known while speaking on the matter; Sustainability of Oyo State Community Service Punishment Scheme: Way Forward at an Annual Stakeholder Review Workshop.
The review workshop was organized by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) and held at J. Travers Hall, Saint Patricks Church, Basorun, Ibadan.
In her article, Justice Adeyemi said that the community service punishment program should be implemented by the government, adding that currently it is implemented by the JDPC I. Collaboration with the judicial system of State.
According to her, “once there is funding, the system will become more efficient because rather than keeping offenders in the premises of the high court to serve their sentence, they can be taken to public places; public hospitals, schools or government farms in their locality, in accordance with the law establishing the scheme.
“Before they can be taken to such places to serve their sentence, there must be enough staff, security so that they do not run away and transportation because they cannot be taken to such places. such places in public transport and equipment for work. must be available because they are the ones currently bringing their work tools, all of this must be provided by the government.
“Community sentencing has helped decongest courts and correctional centres. For those of us who deal with EFCC cases in Oyo State, it has helped expedite cases, if all courts can hand down around 20 sentences per month as happens in my court , then the program works by decongesting correctional centers.
“If the law has not been put in place for community sentences, those convicted under the scheme for a simple offense will be sent to correctional centers where they will be added to the already bloated population at the workplace. of general interest to which they are subject”, she added.
Justice Adeyemi, however, stressed the need to teach values at home and at school as well as the need to channel the energy and digital intellect of young people to stem the breakdown of values and fight crime.
Also speaking, Dr. Remi Akinrinola, President of the Oyo State Chapter of the Counselors Association of Nigeria, explained that “we are working with the JDPC to reform the lives of those convicted under the community service program and that makes a huge difference because out of 700 who have been given a community sentence, we only have two repeat offenders, unlike the number of repeat offenders in correctional centres.
‘This is encouraging because counseling is needed to reshape the orientation of these convicts because some of them are victims of their orientation; they weren’t taught values or the dignity of work, but the council helped reform them and they are now better people. We appreciate JDPC’s initiative,” he added.
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