Over the years, the initiative has been gifted with volunteers, mainly legal practitioners who have offered their professional services on pro bono basis, taking up cases of citizens in detention, remand and awaiting trial or serving time in prison, who are presumed innocent of alleged crime or offenses, and unable to afford legal representation in court.
LACRI is all about the rights of citizens which are recognized by law as against privileges. So for one to qualify to be assisted he has to have:
(a) Right or just claim of title as recognized by law and also enforceable under the law.
(b) He also has to be a citizen who is in need of such protection and whose legal rights have been infringed.
The totality of the above simply see us as an organization whose interest is in the assisting of citizens, whose legal rights have been infringed upon.
The Three (3) Cardinal Points upon which LACRI is built are Legal Assistance, Advocacy, and Prisons Reforms.
Since 2006, LACRI has provided and rendered free legal services to indigent citizens remanded by the prisons services and justice system, as well as needy citizens that have approached LACRI for legal aid support. These free legal services include –
- Legal clinics and advice
- Legal representation in court
- Facilitating speedy trials
- Facilitating bail and release of detained persons
- Liaison and contacting relatives and/or acquaintances of detained persons
- Facilitating and monitoring the unconditional release of individuals not convicted of alleged crimes
- Provision of relevant judicial information to citizens
LACRI engages in advocacy for the reforms of the Nigerian judicial system and law enforcement through various programs.
The “Rainbow Law Week”, among other advocacy activities, is used as a vehicle to pursue judicial and prison reforms in Nigeria with a focus on;
- Social advocacy on judicial reforms
- Campaign for re-engineering of the Nigerian judicial system
- Awareness campaign for the equitable enforcement of human right laws in Nigeria
Advocating for Better Services
In the light of the challenges being faced by indigent citizens living on the fringes of society, either remanded or serving time under the squalid and dehumanizing conditions of the prisons, LACRI has being in the forefront of championing reforms in the Nigerian Prisons and Corrections system.
In order to improve the prisons and correctional service, LACRI is involved in;
- Prisons decongestion campaign
- Initiated the Prisoners’ Rights Review Seminar
- Continuous liaison with the judicial and correctional services authorities
- Provision of medical services support, including building a sickbay and Psychiatric Unit at Aba Prisons
- Donation of medical equipment and medication
- Provision of Psychiatrists and Doctors-on-Call at several prisons
- Donation of training equipment to Prisons and Correctional Units Rehabilitation Workshop
- Provision of Training and Education to Inmates at Federal Medium Prisons in Uyo.