By Joy Odor
The International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office of the U.S. Embassy has donated equipment to support the Correctional Information Management Systems of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS).
The equipment donated includes satellite broadband VSAT dishes, desktop computers, printers, internet routers, servers, and furniture.
Also a U.S. government grant worth $3.9 million dollars will follow to train NCS officials in the use of the CIMS modules.
The Acting Controller General of Nigeria Correctional Services, Mr John Mmrabure, received the equipment presented by Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard.
Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard said the equipment donation was the first step in this partnership.
She noted that better information management will provide inmates in pre-trial detention improved access to lawyers, who will now be able to track detainees’ location easily.
Ambassador Leonard said the program would work closely with Law Clinics in Nigerian Universities to provide pro-bono service to inmates awaiting trial.
The support to the NCS, which began in 2017 with a pilot program at Kuje Prison, has evolved into the Correctional Information Management Systems (CIMS).
This donation will equip CIMS in three locations in Nasarawa State, specifically Keffi New, Keffi Old, and Lafia Custodial Centers.
The new equipment will enable the NCS to capture inmates’ biographical data at correctional facilities, thereby facilitating legal assistance and family contact.
“We are proud to partner with the Nigeria Correctional Service to incorporate information technology into the management practices which will address prolonged pre-trial detention in pursuit of the Nigerian government’s efforts to apply and enforce the rule of law and respect for human rights.
“These are tenets of a strong democracy and I am proud that the United States stands as your partner.”.