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Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua advocates for prison reform and sustainable practices

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called for a transformative approach within the Kenyan Prisons Department, urging the utilisation of penal institutions to promote agriculture, industrialisation, and contribute to the nation’s food security agenda.

Speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) during the launch of Correctional Services Week, the Deputy President emphasised the vast potential of prisons to become self-sustaining entities by harnessing the large tracts of land at their disposal.

Gachagua suggested that the Prisons Department should focus on operationalising the prisons industry, collaborating with private entities for the marketing of furniture products, and establishing a revolving fund to make the prisons self-sustainable.

“Create a revolving fund and make prisons self-sustainable. There is no reason why they should not produce enough food for inmates instead of buying the foodstuffs and selling the surplus. Penal institutions have huge tracts of land,” said the Deputy President.

Flanked by the Principal Secretary for the State Department of Correctional Services, Salome Muhia-Beacco, and Commissioner-General for Prisons Brigadier (Rtd) John Kibaso Warioba, the Deputy President commended the department for its efforts in transforming the lives of offenders, rehabilitating them, and successfully reintegrating them into society.

Gachagua also called upon prison officers to actively participate in the Greening Kenya Initiative, a national endeavor aiming to plant 15 billion trees by 2032.

He emphasized the responsibility of the Correctional Services in environmental protection and suggested the establishment of nurseries in various correctional stations.

The Deputy President announced plans to initiate a debate with independent constitutional commissions and Parliament on the issuance of Certificates of Good Conduct to ex-convicts.

Gachagua expressed concern over the challenges faced by former inmates in acquiring such certificates, hindering their employment prospects.

He said that the call for prison reform and sustainable practices aligns with the government’s broader agenda for social transformation and environmental conservation, marking a significant step toward reshaping the role of correctional facilities in Kenya.

By Hamdi Buthul

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