Nakuru GK Prison have received 250 beds and beddings to be used by 35 nursing mothers at the facility in a move aimed at cushioning them and their children against the biting cold.
The initiative by Faraja Foundation, a local non-governmental agency engaging foreign and local donors has also put up a counseling center at the facility to help 189 inmates manage stress-related issues while serving their terms at the correctional facility.
Faraja Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jane Kuria says the Sh2.5 million bed complements the country`s spirited quest for prison reforms and observance of basic human rights at the facilities.
Kuria says the programme focusing on five main correctional facilities across the country seeks to make the facilities spaces of self-reflection and meaningful change rather than merely homes of discipline.
Rift Valley Regional Prisons Commandant Dan Ogore said the donation would ease the stay of inmates and their children whom he said have been living with difficulties for many years.
On her part, Nakuru Women Prison officer in Charge Emily Momanyi said the kind donations would help inmates find a home at the facility while undertaking various integrated correctional programmes for reintegration into the society.
She said the beds and beddings would be significant in helping medical personnel at the facility manage respiratory infections among children who have been sleeping on cold hard floors with their mothers.
The officials attributed accelerated reforms to an open door policy at the correctional facility and called for increased participation of local citizens in deliberate partnerships with prisons to improve amenities at the institution for efficient and effective services to inmates.
Their call comes amid concerns that most prisoners do not sleep on beds. According to the international human rights protocol for prisoners sheltered at a prison, a prisoner has a right to a bed.
The beneficiaries commended the gesture saying such compassionate moves were key in their desire to becoming better citizens while they take their correctional programs at the facility.
They said the beds and beddings would enable them protect their children from cold related illnesses and expressed gratitude for the counseling center which they said has helped many among them cope with stress and have been able to live comfortably.
Among the 189 inmates at the Nakuru women prison, 38 inmates are on remand, seven are serving a life sentence and five have been condemned to death.
By Jane Ngugi