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Gov’t to modernize prisons to empower inmates

The Government is in the process of procuring new and modern equipment for all correctional services across the country, in a move aimed at enhancing productivity of inmates.

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Dr. Fred Matiang’i (R) hands over a mattress and other gifts, during the launch of distribution of Christmas comfort, to prisoners at the Naivasha Maximum Prison. Photo by Calvin Osiemo

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Dr. Fred Matiang’i said the Government was now managing the correctional services in a new and modern way to ensure the inmates are more useful and productive once released from the prisons to their communities.

He said under the direction of President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Ministry was now procuring the modern equipment and tools to be used in training the inmates, in a bid to empower them with life skills that would help them economically.

Speaking at the Naivasha Maximum prisons during the launch of distribution of Christmas comfort to prisoners, Dr. Matiang’i said the government respects all the rights of prisoners as enshrined in the Constitution and was committed to improving their welfare while at the prison facilities.

He was contented that every inmate would soon be sleeping on a mattress and have each a blanket in addition to getting additional uniforms and enough meals, thanks to the new prison reforms.

“You are not here to die, but to be transformed into a useful citizen,” Matiang’i told the inmates.

The CS also assured that the Ministry was looking into ways of addressing the perennial water shortage in correctional services, adding that a borehole had already been drilled at the Naivasha Maximum Prison and a 150,000 litres water tank installed to supply water at the facility.

The CS at the same time said the government was partnering with private sector to implement the prison reforms and commended the private companies and organizations which were contributing in kind and materials to improve on the wellbeing of prisoners.

On Covid vaccines, Dr. Matiang’i noted that the first phase of administering Covid-19 jabs to inmates and staff was a success, adding that private sector was working with Ministry of Health to roll out the second jab.

Sports, Culture and Heritage CS Amb.  Amina Mohamed who was the Chief Guest challenged the prisoners to embrace the reforms to ensure they become better and useful citizens outside the prisons.

She said her Ministry would continue supporting the development of artistic talents among the prisoners by supplying them with the needed tools such as footballs, uniforms among others.

By Esther Mwangi and Erastus Gichohi

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