The Nigerian Bar Association is doubtlessly an invaluable organisation when it comes to having a workable Criminal Justice Administration, in any decent society. The unprecedented visit of the Deputy Controller of Nigerian Correctional Services, Plateau State, in Charge of Non-Custodial Services to the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, Jos Branch on 3rd June, 2020 underscored that fact.

Mr. Yakubu S. Bawa, the Chairman of the NBA Jos Branch had the pleasure of playing host to Mr. Folorunshola A. Mark, (DCC/NCS) in his office, today. The DCC/NCS did not mince words in soliciting the cooporation and partnership of the NBA in the implementation of the novel innovation of the Correctional Services Act as it pertains to non-custodial sentencing. Which include community services, parole, probationary services, etc, with the aim of acheiving character rehabilitative and restorative goals, rather than the risky damning outcomes often recorded in the aged-long penitentiary system. The august guest also took time to reel out other benefits of the non-custodial system which include decongestion of the custodial centres, promotion of reintegration of convict into the society, et al.

On his own part, the NBA Chairman, Jos Branch thanked the Deputy Controller for his visit which was bound to spur the Bar to do more in its role as a pillar in the enthronement of criminal justice. He said the Association exists for such purposes. He emphasised that the Jos Bar has been in the forefront of actualising the true essense of criminal justice for which the idea of the non-custodial correctional system was implimented to acheive. He added that lawyers generally had welcomed the new Correctional Services Act, particularly for its introduction of the non-custodial services system.

Underscoring the advantage akin to the non-custodial services earlier mentioned by his guest, the Jos Bar Chairman recalled that the Justice Sector Reform Team of Plateau State had just undertaken a visit to the Custodial correctional services in the State with the aim of mitigating the usual congestion syndrom in the centres. At the end, the JSRT, ably led by the Honourable Chief Justice Yakubu G. Dakwak discharged a total of 88 inmates from the 4 centres within the State.

The Chairman concluded by promising the Deputy Controller to create a platform for the services through seminars and workshop among the Bar and the Judiciary for sensitization. On his own part, the Deputy Controller appreciated the Jos Bar Chairman for receiving him and his team, and expressed commitment towards acheiving all that was discussed.

Jos Bar, Secretary

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