The general consensus about prisons in Africa is that it is nothing more than a facility where criminals are incarcerated and deprived of their freedoms.
The prison is meant to not just punish criminals for their crimes but also rehabilitate them so that they can function when put back into society but the opposite was the case here.
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An inmate who was freed on Friday from jail thanks to the Mashujaa Day Pardon by President Kenyatta was caught stealing offering at a church in Laikipia West.
The former inmate identified as Lucas Ngugi Njoroge was among minor offenders pardoned in a bid to decongest Kenyan prisons.
The incident occurred on Sunday at the Ol Jabet African Independent Pentecostal Church. Mr Njoroge was said to have risen from his seat during offertory time pretending to make his contribution.
He then dipped his hand into the basket and took out nine hundred shillings.
The service was disrupted as other members who saw Njoroge’s actions jumped at him as he stuffed the money into his pocket.
The angry churchgoers were about to beat up Mr Njoroge before he was rescued by Assistant Chief Charles Ngunjiri, a member of the church.
Ngunjiri said the suspect first denied stealing the money but later recanted his statements.
Mr Ngunjiri said:
”He later changed his story and said that he was in the process of putting the money back into the basket after realising that it was wrong to steal from the church.”
The suspect was later taken to the Ol Jabet Police Post for interrogation.
Nyahururu police division commander (OCPD) Ezekiel Chepkwony confirmed the arrest saying the freed prisoner would be arraigned in court once investigations were complete.
It is often said that criminals will be criminals regardless of what is done to try and help them, which was the case in this scenario.
The prison system has failed to rehabilitate Mr Njoroge, who will bear the brunt of his crime on his shoulders less than a week after he was released.