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Kiambu Prison to decongest petty offenders

Probation Officers keenly follow proceedings during a function at the Kiambu Law Courts. The Probation Department and Kiambu High Court in conjunction with the Kiambu Prison on Tuesday May 8, 2018 embarked on a decongestion exercise. Photo by Lydia Shiroya/KNA.

The  Probation Department  and  Kiambu High Court in conjunction with the Kiambu Prison on Tuesday embarked on a decongestion exercise in which 792 prisoners stand to be released.

During preliminaries which will culminate in the release of the prisoners who have reformed and those about to complete their terms at the correctional facility, Justice Stephen Riech said it was prudent to carry out the exercise, so as to allow them to test the skills they had acquired while in prison.

The exercise is part of the 100 days, Rapid Results Initiative activities in which they intend to achieve bymid-August 2018.

Justice Riech in his address to more than 30 probation officers, drawn from five courts in Kiambu County, called on the officers to intensify counselling aspect in their work, saying it helped the inmates to integrate well with the community.

He told the probation officers to exercise caution while doing their reports on those inmates, who expected to be paroled so that only those that had reformed were considered.

During the function, the Nairobi/Kiambu Regional Coordinator, Ogenche Hitler said it was important to carry out the exercise, so as to save on expenditure of incarcerating them when they had reformed.

He said the government was saving Sh. 300 per prisoner per day, which he noted translated to Kiambu prison, saving Sh. 237,600 per day or Sh. 7,128,000, which he said could be diverted to other activities of economic value to benefit the institution.

The beneficiaries include petty offenders who needed to be reintegrated with their families, whom they had wronged, prior to their being sentenced to prison. Those who are about to complete their jail term from between 6 months to 3 years will be considered in the reports which were verified by the visiting Judge.

During the two day decongestion exercise, those who will be released shall be supervised by the probation officers, after being placed to serve the community. They will be reporting to their area chiefs and probation officers who will ensure they work for a period of 2 hours in a day. This will as well allow them to eke a livelihood for their families as most are bread winners.

The decongestion programme was born in 2006 and to date, many beneficiaries have been able to put into practice their training, which they acquired while in prison.

By  Lydia  Shiroya

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