Uhuru announces plan to release 8,000 prisoners
10 months ago, 8 Mar 15:51
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the high number of prisoners will be enrolled in alternative correctional programmes once they are out of prison. Uhuru said releasing the 8,000 prisoners will help reduce pressure in prisons adding that the government will invest more in the criminal justice system reforms in the country. The President said prisons in the country ought to establish income generating activities to stop relying more on the exchequer At least 8,000 prisoners who are currently incarcerated are likely to taste the sweetness of freedom if a statement released by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, March 8, is anything to go by. While presiding over the passing out parade of 3,198 prisons officers at the Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, the president announced that the Government is currently processing the prisoners for alternative correctional programmes outside prisons as part of plans to avoid overcrowding in the facilities. Uhuru observed that the Prisons department plays an integral role in the protection of Kenyans against all sorts of crimes and they should be properly equipped for their job so as to be it more effective. “The defence of our people from every sort of crime – and from new threats, whether they come from cyber criminals, from terrorists, or from traffickers and the like – demands well trained prison officers, as much as it does properly equipped prisons,” Uhuru said. He argued that the criminal justice system require more resources because of the growing populations they have to serve and the changes in technologies that also affect the nature of crimes they have to deal with. He also emphasized that the training of prisons officers ought to focus on fighting the growing sophistication and barbarity of criminals, without forgetting that they should strive not just to protect Kenyans from criminals but also to reform the criminals themselves. “The services, in short, ought to balance deterrence, punishment and rehabilitation,” the president emphasised. He added that institutions like the Kenya Prisons are allowed and should engage in income generating activities. “The prison department should tap their revenue potential, so that we can avoid over-reliance on the exchequer. Our prisons ought to establish income generating activities and programs as will help rehabilitate prisoners once their terms are up,” he said. The new officers included those recruited from the National Youth Service, following the directive that all security forces should reserve some slots for the NYS youth during each recruitment exercise, and officers from the Makonde community, who were accorded citizenship rights last year by President Uhuru even though they have lived in Kenya since before independence.
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