The Lagos State Prison Watch has offered free legal services to inmates in the Badagry prisons, in order to facilitate their release and aid the decongestion of the prison facility which is presently overstretched and overcrowded.
The Prison Watch team which comprises of state counsels from Citizens’ Right, Office of The Public Defender, OPD, and Community Service, also advocated for minor offenders, and first time offenders the option of community services instead of being jailed for minor offences.
This advocacy for community service, according to Mrs Clara Ibirogba, Director of Citizens Rights, Ministry of Justice and the Head of the Lagos State Prison Watch team, would help effectively in decongesting the prisons.
Ibirogba, who expressed displeasure at the overcrowded situation of prisons across the State added that the facilities for the prisoners in prisons were also currently inadequate because of over population.
She said “State counsels from the OPD shall be offering freee legal services to indegent inmates who can not afford the services of a lawyer, to facilitate their release through the courts, as this will aid in decongesting the prisons”
A representative of the Deputy Controller of Prison, Mr. Emmanuel Olaitan commended the state government for its constant support to the welfare of prisoners, and appealed to the state government to continue to do more.