Globally, over 9.25 million people are held in prison, with most of them as pretrial detainees in deplorable conditions, particularly in Africa, so there is a need for criminal justice and penal reforms. This large number of inmates has led to prison overcrowding, poor nutrition, poor health and sanitary conditions, resulting in the spread of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B&C, tuberculosis, and respiratory and skin infections, with devastating consequences on the general society, as well as to social-economic penalties on victims, their families and society. You can also read our history here.

In Nigeria for example, as at April 2011, the estimated prison population was 50,000 and 39,000 of this figure was awaiting trial. Many of these people have no legal representation and have been in detention for more than five years.

This phenomenon is exacerbated by the attitude of judges, lawyers, magistrates and prosecutors towards cases, arbitral adjournment of cases, arbitral arrest and detention of suspects by the police, corruption, and lack of good legislation to deal with the issues, among others.

The sad situation has drawn the attention of individuals, some government agencies, civil society groups and NGOs, calling for reforms in the criminal justice and prison systems.

At CURE-Nigeria, we are committed to advocating for a more humane and effective correctional system in Nigeria.

We believe that prisons should not be places of punishment and suffering, but rather of rehabilitation and reintegration. We work with various stakeholders, including the Nigerian Correctional Service, the Federal Ministry of Justice, civil society groups and international partners, to promote prison reforms that will improve the conditions and prospects of inmates, especially those alleged to be associated with terrorist groups such as Boko Haram.

Our goals support the implementation of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019, which aims to reduce prison overcrowding, enhance access to legal representation, provide education and vocational training, and foster social reintegration of ex-offenders. By doing so, we hope to contribute to a safer and more just society for all Nigerians.

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