The State Department for Correctional Services is partnering with the Judiciary to review cases of mothers serving their sentences in custody for petty offences while with children, to instead serve their sentences under Community Service Orders.
Correctional Services Principal Secretary Ms. Mary Muriuki said Women correctional facilities have children aged between zero to four years accompanying their mothers in custody. Besides, she added, the convicted mothers are likely to have other children back home.
She said the department is also advocating for the use of Alternative Dispute Resolutions to mitigate congestion in correctional facilities.
“We are doing the advocacy during public barazas in conjunction with the National Administrative Officers,” said Ms. Muriuki.
The PS was speaking today during the International Women’s Day celebrations that was graced by First Lady Rachel Ruto at Langata Maximum Women Prison in Nairobi.
Ms. Muriuki said this year’s celebrations themed ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ is in line with the correctional services mandate of ensuring that women are empowered in the innovation sector.
She said the Women Prisons were training the inmates in both formal and informal education where they are taught computer courses to enable them acquire digital skills besides learning other skills that include knitting, baking, beadwork, beauty and hairdressing.
“The different programs we offer empowers them with skills that will help them become more productive members of the society upon their release,” stated the PS.
Muriuki singled out the Hustler Fund as one of the various government initiatives that will enable the inmates have startup capital to engage in small businesses to support their families.
She encouraged the inmates to take up the skills they have acquired while in custody, as there is a brighter future after release, noting that what they require is to take responsibility of showing their skills and making a difference.
“I would like to assure inmates that all is not lost because there is life after prison. Utilize the skills in the best way possible,” advised the PS.
Ms. Muriuki said women wear so many caps in their day-to-day lives, a need that requires them to be supported by the community and celebrated by the whole society as nurturers of life.
She added that the objective of the Women Day is to celebrate the achievement of women within the social, economic, political and environmental spheres of life.
By Bernadette Khaduli