Laikipia County Government has urged the community to welcome back, embrace and help released inmates re-integrate into the society.
Speaking during the discharge board meeting on deliberations to release two inmates who had completed their jail term, Nyahururu Sub-County Administrator Charles Ndegwa said that the community plays a big role in re-integrating the inmates.
The two inmates John Akuta and Peter Kuria Mburu had been jailed for 10 years for possession of a firearm loaded with ammunition and attempted incest respectively.
“I want you to liaise with the area chiefs and ward administrators as soon as you get home. This will help us easily consider you whenever the county government is hiring people for casual jobs,” Ndegwa told them.
“I believe a job will easily help the released inmates re-integrate easily into the society. Moreover, I want to urge our community to embrace the released inmates. I believe they have truly reformed and everyone deserves a second chance in life,” said Ndegwa.
John Akuta, a reformed bandit, narrated to the discharge board how he bought a gun because his peers had been buying guns and successfully used them to amass livestock which they would sell and purchase motorbikes or use the money to marry new wives.
He was sentenced in November 2017 to 10 years having served three years in remand.
According to John Kagecha the Deputy-in-Charge of the Nyahururu women’s prison, the prison service reduces the jail term by a third based on the discipline of the inmate.
“Akuta had no indiscipline case on his file since being jailed at the Nyahururu prison thus prompting the prison in charge recommending his early release from prison,” said Kagecha.
Before his arrest and sentencing, Akuta was married and had three grown up children who had attended the discharge board meeting at the Nyahururu prison. Also accompanying them was Akuta’s brother and his aged ailing mother.
“I have trained in carpentry while in prison and I have been awarded grade three certification. Was it not the long corona break, I would have been released having attained the grade one carpentry certification,” Akuta said.
“I have never blamed anyone for being caught and jailed. Owning a gun according to my peers then was an achievement but now I know it is a crime. I promise to be a reformed person and I shall also tell those owning guns to surrender them,” said Akuta.Mburu from Kiriita Ward in Nyandarua County who also faced the discharge board had been jailed for 20 years in 2016 with attempted incest.
He appealed his sentence and it was reduced to 10 years. He also leaves the prison having attained grade three training in tailoring and a Diploma in Theological Education by Extension, a Diploma offered by the PCEA church.
John Mwangi the In-Charge of industries at the Nyahururu prisons urged the released inmates to join social help groups back in their villages to enable them socially re-integrate easily with others in society.
The prison discharge board comprises various stakeholders that work closely with the prisons, including probation officers, interfaith council, and local administration.
The stakeholders help and give recommendations on how the prisoners will be received back into the society.
By Antony Mwangi