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Committee advocates for more offenders to Community Service

The Community Service Order (CSO) committee members in the Marakwet West sub-county are advocating for a higher allocation of offenders to the CSO program in an effort to enhance rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

During a meeting held on Wednesday at the DCC’s boardroom in Kapsowar, the committee members discussed the pressing issue of declining numbers of probationers being assigned to the CSO program.

In the past six months, the number of probationers in the program has dropped from 23 to a mere 15, a significant decline that has raised concerns among committee members. They believe that this decrease in numbers may compromise the effectiveness of the program in achieving its goals.

Speaking during the meeting, David Barasa, the County probation officer of Elgeyo Marakwet, expressed his commitment to resolving this issue. He pledged to follow up on the previously agreed-upon deal with the magistrates at Iten Law Courts to increase the number of probationers entering the CSO program. Mr. Barasa believes that the court’s cooperation is essential to address this decline effectively.

Mr. Barasa also stressed the need for urgent training of CSO supervisors to ensure they are familiar with the program’s requirements and to protect probationers from exploitation.

This training will play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the CSO program, which aims to reform petty thieves and petty offenders, helping them to reintegrate into society successfully.

The underlying spirit of the CSO program is centered on providing offenders with an opportunity to mend their ways and reintegrate into society as productive citizens. This approach focuses on community-based rehabilitation, emphasizing that offenders should serve their sentences closer to their homes.

This not only facilitates a smoother reintegration but also helps them avoid the financial burdens associated with traveling to institutions where they would serve their orders.

As the committee pushes for an increased allocation of offenders to the CSO program, it remains dedicated to the principles of restorative justice and community-based rehabilitation, with the ultimate aim of ensuring a brighter future for those on the wrong side of the law.

It is hoped that these efforts will result in more non-serious offenders benefiting from the program and finding a path toward reformation.

By Rennish Okong’o

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