No fewer than 523 children are detained in various prisons in Anambra State, the National Human Rights Commission has said.

The Anambra state coordinator of the NHRC, Mrs. Nkechi Ugwuanyi, stated this at the Onitsha Prisons during an interface with some juvenile inmates.

Ugwuanyi said the visit was in commemoration of the African “Pre-Trial” Day 2019 themed: Decriminalisation of Petty and Minor Offences

She added that the focus was to gather details of the inmates, whose offences fall within the classification.

She said such cases involved no fewer than 523 inmates in Awka and Onitsha prisons.

“It’s on account of these offences that NHRC is propelled to undertake this visit.

“The focus is to gather details of the inmates, whose alleged offences fall within the classification.

“This is to enable us to make appropriate interventions toward the decongestion of prisons through advocacy for decongestion through decriminalisation of petty or minor offences,’’ Ugwuanyi stated.

While describing the number of juveniles cases recorded as quite high, she assured that inmates whose cases had been compiled would “have reasons to smile at the end of the exercise.”