Sunday, April 21, 2024
Home > Counties > CS Kindiki reinstates family prison visits

CS Kindiki reinstates family prison visits

Cabinet Secretary (CS), Ministry of Interior and National Administration Prof. Abraham Kithure Kindiki has ordered the recommencement of regulated family visits in all prisons and correctional facilities in the country.

Prof. Kindiki said the move would allow inmates to interact with their families since Covid-19 which led to the banning of the visits was no longer a threat. The Government had imposed a ban on all prison visits after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Kenya on March 13, 2020 where all institutions of learning were also closed for nearly a year.

The ban was initially meant to last for 30 days but was however extended and had not been lifted until the CS made this pronouncement in Naivasha. Speaking when he visited Naivasha Maximum facility where he commissioned a multi-million milling plant, Kindiki noted that prisoners should have at least one day when their families could visit them, but added that more communication would be made on the matter.

The multi-million plant will be used to mill flour used by the inmates and other products such as animal feeds which would help bring in some income for the facility. “When I look at you today, I can see all of you are well. Looking at the ban that was imposed earlier, I don’t see the need and why we shouldn’t involve you in prison visits by your families and we are therefore going to resume the family reunions and family visitation meetings in all our facilities including Naivasha Maximum Security prison for both male and female inmates,” the CS said amid cheers from the inmates.

He also announced that through the ‘Power of Mercy’ policy, the government proposes to decongest prisons and other correctional facilities by 50 per cent by facilitating virtual court sessions and remodeling the Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in prisons countrywide to enable expeditious conclusion of pending matters. “I will be consulting with the Attorney General (AG) so that the plan of Power of Mercy helps to decongest our prisons and all categories of our inmates will be covered by that programme of mercy,” Prof. Kindiki stated.

He also reiterated the Government’s plan to modernize equipment in all the country`s penal institutions and urged the inmates to submit a proposal on how many computers or laptops and other equipment they required so that the inmates and their paralegals could be supported as they appeared before courts virtually in order to expedite their cases.

Prof. Kindiki also announced that plans were underway to help inmates who acquired some skills while serving their terms to get a small startup capital incentive when they leave prisons in order for them to be able to make use of the skills acquired to make a living so that they don’t lapse back into crime.

Data gathered by the Judiciary in 2022 shows that there were close to 60,000 inmates (both on remand and convicted) in Kenya`s about 118 penal institutions of which 115 were for adult offenders whilst three (two of them being Borstal and one youth correctional training centre) were primarily for youth offenders. The Naivasha Maximum Prison has the largest inmates’ population in Kenya of approximately 3,000 from all over the country.

By Mabel Keya – Shikuku

Leave a Reply