New bedding for prisons under Sh40bn proposal

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Correctional services PS Mary Muthoni engages a prisoner at the Kerugoya prison woodwork workshop, where she pledges to seek more funding in the budget so as to get prisoners new uniforms and better their lifestyle in prisons by championing for one prisoner, one mattress, one bed. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Inmates will get fresh bedding and more food should legislators pass a proposal by a committee of the National Assembly to set aside an additional Sh6.49 billion.

Half of the additional funds β€”Sh3.2 billion β€” will be used to purchase food rations, a major boost for prisoners.

In total, allocation to Prisons will rise to Sh39.31 billion in the 2023/2024 fiscal year should the proposal by the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) be adopted.

The Treasury had allocated Sh32.82 billion to cater for areas such as offender services and capacity development, in the year starting July.

Since the major reforms carried out by former Vice President Moody Awori during the administration of the late President Mwai Kibaki, prisons have remained neglected.

The additional allocations were informed by submissions by the Departmental Committee of Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that decried the deplorable state of prisons.

According to the committee, there was a total breakdown of the prisons infrastructure including machinery, buses and buildings.

β€œThe committee was concerned over the deplorable state of the prisons, including acute shortage of bedding and linen for inmates in most of the prison facilities in the country leading to prisoners living under inhumane conditions,” said the BAC chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

The latest Economic Survey shows the total number of inmates increased from 160,121 in 2021 to 169,579 in 2022 with 60.8 percent being remandees.

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