Abia State Judiciary has trained Correctional Officers on supervision of offenders on non-custodian sentence /community service during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The online training, which was conducted in partnership with Prisons Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), had 20 participants, who were non-custodian Correctional Officers and Registrars/Clerks of Courts in the state Judiciary.
Those would constitute the personnel in charge of Community Service Centres in all Judicial Divisions in Abia State as provided under Section 446 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2017.
The State Chief Judge, Mr. Justice Onuoha Ogwe said the training is in line with the state judiciary’s commitment to advance the Administration of Justice and capacity building of criminal justice sector through the use of technology. He called for partnership and support from all related agencies and stakeholders.
According to the Chief Registrar of Abia State Judiciary, Mrs. Victoria Analaba, who is also the coordinator of the State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, the training provided an overview on 13 modules for the targeted participants.
The modules learnt to include the preparation of pre-sentencing reports, supervision of offenders serving non-custodial sentencing, correctional officers ethical obligations and duty of care, safety, protection and compliance with health protocols in Correctional Officers’ workplaces, recommended sanctions for COVID19 violators and other violators during the lockdown.
Others she listed were the supervision of women offenders serving non-custodial sentences during COVID-19 lockdown, supervision of offenders living with disabilities and children in conflict with the law sentenced to non-custodial measures during the lockdown.
The Chief Registrar indicated that additional online training are being planned to deepen the knowledge of the targeted group and other topics related to the administration of non-custodial measures as provided under the State Administration of Criminal Justice Law of 2017 and the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 which she said includes community service order, probation, parole, restorative justice and others.
In her remarks, the PRAWA Executive Director, Dr. Uju Agomuoh congratulated Abia State Judiciary for blazing the trail in Nigeria as the first state to roll out online training for officers involved in the Administration of Justice during the COVID-19 lockdown and also the first with regards to online training of Correctional officers on the administration of non-custodian measures.