The Judiciary in collaboration with the department of probation is now seeking views on how to revamp the Community Service Order (CSO) that will see petty offenders work for the public instead of remaining in prison.
High Court Judge Justice Cecilia Githua, who is also chairperson of CSO National committee said the move is aimed at decongesting prisons as part of the measures to fight the deadly COVID-19 virus and to rehabilitate offenders for society.
She made the remarks after holding a consultative meeting with the Narok Court Users Committee (CUC) at the Narok courts.
“Our mission is to seek public views on how we can revamp the CSO programme and sensitize the members of the public on the importance of this sentence,” she said.
She added that this program will enable the offender to be corrected within the community so that they can continue taking care of the family to restore family units as opposed to where the offender would stay far from his family, while serving the sentence in jail.
“With these non-custodial measures, the community will benefit from free labour from the offenders as the offender’s family continue getting support,” said Justice Githua.
The department of probation will be responsible for the works of services that will be assigned and the jobs given out will be working in public institutions, water conservation and roads construction among others.
They will also consult with the community to prioritize areas of interest that they would wish to be given the free services.
“I urge Kenyans to embrace the CSO form of sentence to make the program effective and not to think that offenders are left scot-free after sentencing,” she added.
Also present at the meeting was Director of Probation and Aftercare Service Mary Mbau, Narok High Court Judge Francis Gikonyo, the Office of Public Prosecutions Representative and Narok North Deputy County Commissioner Mutuku Mwenga.
By Ann Salaton and Vivian Hassan