A prison in Tharaka Nithi County will soon be moved from its current location at the headquarters at Kathwana to pave way for expansion of the rapidly growing urban centre.
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has disclosed that the county government has allocated a five acre piece of land at Kabariange for the relocation of the prison to pave way for the construction of a Level Five medical facility at the rapidly growing Kathwana Township.
Speaking during an inspection visit by the Principal Secretary (PS) Correctional Services Ms. Mary Muthomi Muriuki at the Chuka prison located at Kathwana Wednesday, Governor Njuki undertook to renovate the prison to better the accommodation conditions of the prisoners.
“I will renovate the prison equip it with television sets for the inmates, additional mattresses to meet the rule of one person one mattress,” said the governor who also promising to pay fines or bond for all inmates amounting to less than Sh10,000.
The PS called on the prison wardens to enlighten the inmate on case reviews and their right to defend themselves before the judges in court besides log into the Power of Mercy any time it is conducted and recommend the names of the inmates who have reformed to be released as a way of decongesting the prison.
“These are productive people in the society and we need them out there, ” said the PS who further told the probation officer to always send counsellors and other officers from the department to educate the inmates over the law of Kenya so that they leave the prison better informed and less likely to commit similar offences once back to the society.
Ms. Muriuki further called on the prison wardens to enlighten those inmates on remand awaiting conclusion of their cases on alternative conflict resolution between them and the complainant and even those serving sentences so that they can be reconciled with the complainants even before they are released.
“If an issue can be sorted let it be done even at home other than going to court so that we ensure our prisons are not congested due to petty issues,” emphasized the PS.
She further elaborated over ‘remote visit’ which was used in prisons before Covid-19 struck that the Correctional departments.
“This is where the children will be able to visit their parents in the prison and hence the parents get to see their children. We will implement that very soon in our prisons,” PS Mary Muriuki said.
“We do not have modern prisons and that is what we are constructing now. Prisons that are human friendly and have infrastructures that will incorporate workshops and other correctional programmes that will help the inmates be rectified and transformed so that when they go out there they will be better people,” the PS said shortly after accompanying the governor and the Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner Nobert Komora to visit the 5 acres land in Kabariange where the Chuka prison will relocated.
By Beatrice Mwende