As part of our access to justice project, the Reja team visited the Keffi Correctional Centre, where we gained more insights into the issues faced in our correctional system.
It was alarming to discover that the correctional centre, designed to accommodate 385 inmates, currently holds a staggering population of 900 with 500 inmates awaiting trial. This overcrowding issue is a pressing concern, especially considering that a significant number of these inmates are people who committed minor offences.
During our visit, we engaged with the inmates, listened to their stories, and recognized the need for a transformative approach. Restorative justice can play a crucial role in decongesting these centers, fostering healing and rehabilitation, rather than perpetuating a cycle of punishment.
By focusing on repairing harm caused, addressing underlying issues, and reintegrating individuals into society, we can create safer communities and reduce recidivism rates.
We commend the staff and officials at the Keffi Correctional Centre for their dedication, despite the challenges they face in managing overcrowding. It’s time we collectively advocate for change and prioritize alternative sentencing for minor offenders.
Join us in raising awareness about the benefits of restorative justice and the urgent need to decongest correctional centers. Together, we can promote a more equitable criminal justice system.