Ps Releases Press Brief on Transformations in Correctional Services
State Department for Correctional Services Madam Mary Muthoni Muriuki, HSC, conducted a media briefing on the Transformations at the State Department since she came into office.
In the media briefing on 2nd May 2023, she pointed out eight key priority areas that the State Department through her leadership has put emphasis on and made progress.
The areas include Decongesting of prisons, Climate change, Capacity building, Partnership building, Prison Enterprise modernization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration, offenders and children welfare enhancement and Legal and policy framework support.
At the time the PS made her press brief she had already visited 76 prisons and 4 probation institutions to get better insight on the sector and identify its needs.
“I intend to visit the remaining ones in the next 2 months to further generate partnership opportunities and gain first-hand knowledge of the unique strengths and problems being experienced by our various correctional services institutions for effective future planning.’’
In her speech, the PS revealed that a total of 7281 petty offenders held in different correctional facilities had been released as of 30th March 2023.
This is part of the agenda of decongesting prisons while some are put under Community Service Orders (CSO).
“To date, 1068 prisoners out of the 6,547 sentence review reports submitted to High Court, have been released under CSO Programme,” she said.
She stated that overcrowding is one of the key contributing factors to poor prison conditions in Kenya which is a challenge for management in terms of sustaining the inmates with basic human needs such as food, medical care and sanitation facilities.
The State Department is also working closely with different stakeholders and partners to help on the issue of decongestion.
Contributing to curbing the effects of climate change, the State Department is aiming to plant 10 million trees by close of the year.
So far the State Department launched a tree-planting exercise in Marmanet South Forest, Laikipia County that saw the planting of 100,000 trees and a further 250,000 trees are expected to be planted there. More than 400,000 trees have been planted across prison institutions.
The PS also talked about the ‘One prisoner, One bed, one mattress’ initiative which different partners have so far shown interest in and played a part.
She explained that the initiative has expand to ‘One baby, One cot’ for children accompanying their mothers in prison.
“Aside from the Department’s initiative of the one prisoner, one bed, one mattress to help improve living conditions offenders, which has seen the donation of 15,077 mattresses, the Department is also running the campaign of one child, one cot,” the PS said.
Improving on staff welfare, officers have undergone different trainings so as to equip them more in their professions.
This included 234 new probation officers who had undergone a blended induction program as the State Department awaits 400 more from Public Service Commission to be recruited.
10,483 Prison officers have been sensitized to create awareness in encountering violent extremism.
The PS noted that she shall promote collaboration with all stakeholders to change the doctrine of corrections from the current overreliance on punishment to meaningful rehabilitation and reintegration.