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The Prison Fellowship Nigeria in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice is designing a Restorative Justice (RJ) Project in collaboration with other stakeholders in the criminal justice sector. The objectives of the Project, inter alia, are to: reduce recidivism, increase victim satisfaction, strengthen communities, reduce incarceration and increase public confidence in the justice system.
Key Highlights of the Restorative Justice Project include:
The Prison Fellowship Nigeria hosted a one day sensitization workshop on the theme: “The Healing Face of Justice” on the 21st of October, at the Prison Training College, Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos.
This workshop was organized pursuant to the Lagos State Restorative Justice Project, spearheaded by the PFN. This workshop was held as a precursor to sensitization and survey of inmates in Ikoyi Prison, Maximum, Female and Medium security Prisons in Kirikiri, Lagos and, the full blown restorative Justice Pilot Project in Lagos State, consonant with the Project’s Memorandum of Understanding and Logical Frame work.
The purpose of the workshop is to sensitize the Prison Officers on the importance and benefits of Restorative Justice, including Victim/ Offender Mediation. Since Prison Officers are key to the eventual implementation and smooth running of the RJ project, it is imperative to carry them along and make them appreciate and participate in the project when it eventually kicks off.
Participants at the Workshop included representatives of the Deputy Controller of Prisons, Deputy Controller of Prisons in charge of Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Deputy Controller of Prisons in charge of Kirikiri Medium Security Prison, Deputy Controller of Prisons in charge of Kirikiri Female Prison; Prison officers, Members of Prison Fellowship Nigeria, Members of Lagos State Restorative Justice Steering Committee and members of the press.
The lead lecture was delivered by Dr. Akeem Bello of the Department of Public Law. Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, on the Topic: “The Justice Need of the Accused, Complainant and the Society” while Dr. (Mrs.) Comfort C. Ani of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos moderated the workshop.
After the lecture, participants welcomed the idea of restorative justice.
During the break out session, the participants brainstormed and came up with robust and practical recommendations that will move RJ project forward. Robust comments were also made during the plenary session.
Observations flowing from the lecture are as follows:
The following recommendations were made by participants:
Barr. Benson Ngozi Iwuagwu.
Prison Fellowship Nigeria, on behalf of Workshop participants.
Given at Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos, Nigeria.
On the 21st Day of October, 2015