The US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in partnership with the Federal Government has launched the Prison Data Management System pilot project at Kuje Prison, Abuja.

The Director, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, US Embassy, Rosalyn Wiese, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Wiese said that the project aimed to increase the Nigerian government’s capacity to maintain a safe, humane and transparent penal system and increase access to justice for all by enhancing efficiency in the justice sector institutions.

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“The INL plans to support the Prison service through the implementation of a pilot project to help address the high rate of pre-trial detention and severe prison overcrowding in one of Nigeria’s most important detention facilities,” she said.

The director said that the project which has two components, would provide support to the new pre-trial detention case management system database that would create an electronic record for each inmate.

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It will also generate data to assist the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) and the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee in tracking and managing cases in pre-trial status at Kuje prison.

She said that the second component involved the development of a legal clinic project within the prison.

“We plan to coordinate with‎ the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria and the Ministry of Justice to provide legal aid services to all detainees awaiting trial at Kuje prison,

“To ensure efficient and competent review of their cases and scheduling of court hearings,” Wiese said.

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The issue of awaiting trial inmates in Nigerian prisons has been a challenge which the authorities are trying to address.