The Road to Reform

By Amina Mbuthia / June 6, 2016



prison-bars

Kenya Prisons Service is headed by the commissioner of prisons. It derives its mandate from the Prisons Act, Borstal Act and Public Service Commission Act.

Kenya Prisons Service functions are to contain and keep offenders in safe custody, rehabilitate and reform offenders, facilitate administration of justice and promote prisoners opportunities for social re-integration. To decongest the prisons, non-custodial sentences such as community service are used by courts as alternative to jail terms.

The prison’s Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) was launched in 2007 to harness team strength and client participation to speed up delivery of services within 100 days. The approach tackled large-scale, medium and long-term change efforts through a series of small-scale, results-producing and momentum-building initiative.

Over the years, many changes and reviews have taken place in the service, resulting in the current Prisons Act (Cap 90) and Borstal Act (Cap 92), and more recently in 1999, the Extra Mural Penal Employment was abolished and replaced with Community Service Orders (CSO) under the Department of Probation and Aftercare Services.

Prisons had been known to hold up to 10 times the number of inmates they were originally designed for.

The Community Service Orders have proved a useful tool in rehabilitating those charged with minor offences, thus reducing the number of people being jailed. New accommodation Limits have been constructed for inmates in specific prisons to ease congestion and new prisons have been built in Yatta, Makueni and Kwale Prisons.

Read: Life Behind Bars: A story of Redemption

Kenya’s prisons have continued to offer inmates rehabilitation programs and vocational education and training that would help them be reintegrated into the society and actively participate in positive socio-economic engagements upon release. In most cases, ex-convicts are stigmatized in their communities when they return after completion of their jail terms. The skills gained enhance their chances of engaging in gainful employment and minimize their chances of returning to criminal activities.

Inmates also engage in mushroom production, carpentry, garment making, upholstery, metal work, soap making, saloon management and cosmetology, masonry, painting, knitting, pottery and brick making.

Efforts to enhance rehabilitation services have been stepped up by recruiting professionals in relevant disciplines, including religion, psychology, social work, medicine, engineering and law.

The Prison Service has also strived to improve the terms and conditions for its wardens by improving their terms of service and retraining them in areas, such as human rights, for better management of the prisoners under their charge.

The Directorate of Prisons Enterprises engages inmates in agricultural and industrial production. Inmates grow cash crops, such as tea in Kericho Prison and Uruku Prison in Meru, coffee in Nyeri, Ruiru, Shikusa, Kerugoya and Embu Prisons, pyrethrum in Uruku Prison, cotton in Makueni Prison to oil crops grown in Coast and Western provinces.

Kenya Prison, in conjunction with mobile phone service provider Safaricom, installed mobile phone jammers and CCTV cameras in Kamiti and Naivasha prisons in a bid to enhance security and deter the use of phones to commit offences from within the correction institutions through illegal communication.

Dog units were also introduced in major prisons to improve security control. To improve the skills of prison’s officers and staff, a modern training wing was constructed at the Kenya Prison’s Staff Training College in Ruiru.

The Kenya Prison’ industrial wing supplied seats for the refurbished Parliament and the Milimani courts.

 



About Amina Mbuthia

Find what you love and let it kill you.

View other posts by Amina Mbuthia


More Articles From This Author








Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE

ARCHIVES

2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (220)
  • March 2018 (279)
  • April 2018 (226)
  • May 2018 (240)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (257)
  • August 2018 (187)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (206)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (196)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (236)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (167)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (246)
  • June 2016 (183)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (250)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (154)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (109)
  • May 2015 (117)
  • June 2015 (121)
  • July 2015 (150)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (189)
  • October 2015 (171)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (208)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950