Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner Beverly Opwora has called on communities to accept and integrate ex-prisoners back to the society, noting that many of them undergo meaningful reforms while in incarceration.
“Prisons are not just punitive institutions but rehabilitation centres, where prisoners learn different skills that are not only meant help them earn an honest living, but also make them productive members of the society once they complete their jail terms,” she said.
Addressing members of the public during a legal aid clinic organized by the Judiciary outside the Chuka law courts Wednesday, Opwora said ex-jailbirds remain our brothers and sisters and the only way to help them change and be useful after imprisonment is by showing them love.
“We should desist from treating them as if they are lesser human beings to help them pick from the ashes and move on with life. Some of them have acquired very useful skills because they are trained by professionals in prison,” reiterated the county commissioner.
Opwora further cautioned members of the public against taking the law into their own hands but rather report all criminals to relevant authorities so that legal action can be taken against them.
The same sentiments were echoed by Chuka High Court Judge, Justice Robert Limo who said no one should take the law into their hands in the name of fighting crime or revenge when aggrieved.
“We should not take the law in our hands when we feel that our rights have been infringed but should report to the police or chiefs and leave the law to take its course. Anyone suspecting corruption in the courts should also the report the vice through suggestion boxes outside the courts and action will be take,” said the senior Judge.
Limo further called on residents to guard against wasting their lives in prison for engaging in brewing, consumption and sale of illicit liquor, or peddling of narcotic drugs, vices which have in effect turned many local youth into zombies.
By David Mutwiri