500 inmates from various prisons in the North Rift region have been released in an initiative by the government to decongest prisons.
The Eldoret High Court Judge, Hillary Chemitei said the move will save taxpayers more than sh. 30 million that would have been used to feed the inmates.
The release of the 500 inmates, most of them petty offenders, from Eldoret GK Prison, Ngeria in Uasin Gishu county, Tambach in Elgeyo Marakwet and Kapsabetin Nandi county, is meant to decongest the prisons and to cut down on feeding costs, said Chemitei.
The Judge called upon those released to abide by the law and become productive citizens. He however, warned them that they will be arrested and prosecuted and sentences enhanced if they revert back to their old criminal habits.
He also encouraged Kenyans to support those released while at home to enable them find their footing and reintegrate to society faster.
Chemitei further called on Kenyans to embrace other ways of resolving disputes rather than rushing to the court and causing congestion in the prions.
The North Rift Regional Probation Officers led by Protus Wafula, the Prisons department and inmates released from GK prisons participated in a tree planting exercise at Kiplombe to mark the release of the inmates.
The judge asked the probation department to continue monitoring those released to ensure they coexist with the community and do not renege to crime.
One of the released inmates, Dennis Waititu said he was happy to be free at last and promised to work hard and be a good citizen saying that there was nothing to gain from criminal life.
By Kiptanui Cherono