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Probation Department receives equipment and counseling facility

Kiambu Probation and After Care Office Thursday received 33 desks, 40 chairs, two computers and four printers to enhance service delivery.

State Department for Correctional Services Principal Secretary Salome Wairimu Muhia issued the consignment while at the same time opening a counselling unit in the centre.

“The State Department for Correctional Services is committed to ensuring the welfare of its officers and ensuring the working environment of the officers has the necessary equipment that will ensure service delivery,” the PS said.

Muhia called upon the officers to partner with other stakeholders in order to ensure that more equipment is provided to the officers, saying that this will go a long way in ensuring that more services are delivered seamlessly.

“I invite all partners and other stakeholders today to join in the transformation of the lives of the offenders as we give them a second chance in their lives. I request the regional director, the County director and the Officers at this station to partner with other government bodies in order to provide more services to our clientele,” said the PS.

She noted that the launch of the counselling facility is a move that will aid in the President’s call to eradicate alcohol and substance abuse.

Alcoholism and drug abuse, Muhia said, have been a menace in Kiambu County and its environs. “This unit will help in reaching out to the community and offering assistance to those who have become prone to drug and substance abuse,” Muhia said.

The commissioning of Probation Aftercare Care Services (PACs) Counselling Programme in Kiambu, the PS added, will serve all those who have fallen into the hook of drug and substance abuse.

Speaking to KNA, Regional Probation and Aftercare Service Secretary Mary Mbau said the equipment issued to them by the Ministry will be of great benefit to her officers.

She further noted that the launch of the counselling facility is part of the activities being carried out under the new programme, which entails restructuring and strengthening community supervision.

“We have launched a counselling unit that is backed by our new programme of working, structuring our efforts to strengthen community supervision because, unlike in prison, we work towards community-based supervision and our aim is to reach more people in the community,” said Mbau.

She said that they are planning to come up with a resource and training centre that will enable them to offer subsidised skills and courses to offenders, especially those that are on probation.

“We want to come up with a community resource and training centre.” We are going to offer subsidised courses and skills such as baking, beauty and modern courses,” noted Mbau.

Partnering with National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA), she promised that they would address and finally eradicate drug and substance abuse, using even mobile services to be able to reach out to those affected.

“We want to reach out to the community by being mobile as we hope to reduce alcohol and drug abuse as we work with partners like NACADA as well as other players, including private entities,” she added.

Phillip Mbugua, an offender who has been under probation, said he had reaped a myriad of benefits from the facility put up by the probation office in Kiambu since he was incarcerated and was thus able to take care of his family and open up a business.

“I have been reporting to this facility monthly. The fact that I am serving my sentence outside prison has enabled me to take care of my family; it has also enabled me to open up a business and to employ people, “said Mbugua.

During the launch, Muhia also toured Kiambu Prisons, where she donated 500 litres of paint, brushes, turpentine and lime to be used for painting the facility.

The PS encouraged the inmates to have high self-esteem and promised to work with the Chief Justice and the National Council on the Administration of Justice in order to see how prisons can be decongested.

By Terry Njueini and Purity Yego

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