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Reform the criminal justice system now!

Reform the criminal justice system now!

It goes without saying that reforms in the criminal justice system can be called for at a better time than now.

Justice itself is a public good that should be universal and accessible to all without discrimination of any sort.

Indeed, the vehicle to drive justice to its destination should be road worthy, with all the components functioning efficiently and effectively in the interest of the people.

But when the justice system is infested with a myriad of lapses and inadequacies, justice then becomes an endangered species that has the potential to spiral and engulf society in a vicious cycle.

It is against this gloomy consequence that we are vehemently calling for reforms in the criminal justice system to deter the ripple effects of a decadent system on our people.

The relevant components that require clinical examination and appropriate prescriptions are the police, prison and the court system.

It is no hidden secret that our policing, despite real and intended if not fake interventions to make the cop a professional body, the institution is among the most deplorable in its service delivery. Police investigation and prosecution remain a thorn in the flesh of criminal justice dispensation.

Police investigators and prosecutors are not square pegs in round holes, but also lack the required knowledge and professional training to discharge their duty effectively.

A direct consequence of this anomaly is overcrowding and congestion in police cells and detention facilities, which in turn constitutes human rights violation against detainees. Mechanisms and modalities should be put in place to minimize the rate at which fundamental liberties of suspects and culprits are trampled upon; alternative methods should be sought to address the exponential problems associated with serving jail terms.

The loopholes in the criminal justice system also manifest themselves in the court system. Like the prison, the courts are inundated with cases and lack the capacity to dispense justice at a record time.

“Justice delayed is justice denied”. We are calling on the powers that be to put premium in reforming the criminal justice system for the common good.

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