New focus on welfare of prisoners welcome


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

Parliament should endorse the proposal to allocate additional money to the Prisons Service in the wake of inhumane conditions facing inmates including shortage of food and bedding.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee has proposed to Parliament to allocate the department an additional Sh6.49 billion for foodstuff and bedding.

Many prisons are in deplorable conditions, including an acute shortage of bedding and linen for inmates, leading to prisoners living under inhumane conditions.

Official data shows the number of persons committed to prison increased from 160,121 in 2021 to 169,579 last year, pointing to the need to increase resources if the welfare of inmates is to be catered to.

It is therefore encouraging to see the State start paying attention to these facilities that exist as safe custody for prisoners, as well as for facilitating the rehabilitation of custodial-sentenced offenders and integrating them back into society.

The State should also consider major reforms such as those that were carried out by then Vice-President Moody Awori under the administration of President Mwai Kibaki.

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