The Government has in the past made a number of reforms in the criminal justice system and among them was the introduction of community service as an alternative penal sanction. I am glad to note that community service as a sanction has fully taken root, so much has been done though there is still a lot desired. It is with great honour that I present to you the Annual report for the Directorate of Community Service for financial year 2016/ 17. The report serves as a mechanism for measuring performance and evaluating the Directorate and the community service sanction. It has been one year since elevation of the department of Community Service to a directorate. Great strides have been made in the area of reducing reoffending and rehabilitation of offenders within their communities.
The multi-faceted approach employed in the management of Community Service Orders has not only contributed to national development through savings to government on prisoner expenses and labour expenses for public institutions, but also environmental conservation and skills-enhancement through empowerment projects; specifically tree nursery projects.
However, one of the biggest challenges the directorate is faced with is ‘multiple identities by offenders and lack of specific places of abode, making it hard not only to trace them but also identify habitual offenders as they keep coming back into the system with totally different identities. The National Identification programme comes in handy; capturing National Identification Numbers (NIN) should be prioritized right from Police, in absence of a criminal justice biometric database.
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