President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced plans for a new prison for violent extremists or radicals. He says the new facility will restrain offenders from spreading their extremism to vulnerable Kenyans across the country.
As of yet, prisoners in death row are kept in different prison blocks from the rest of the convicts, but this is to change soon.
According to president Uhuru:
Reforming the character of a person is extraordinarily difficult. It demands compassion, skill in discerning the character of others, and firmness.
The President also noted that the reform of offenders needs people including men and women of eligible ages in the country, who are ready to combine public service along with highest standards of care for fellow Kenyans.
While addressing the officers, President Uhuru said;
I trust that you will prove to Kenyans that you have what it takes to meet those standards, both today and throughout your terms of service.
The country’s correctional facilities had been termed inhumane, with some heavily congested. President Kenyatta, who was speaking at the passing out parade of more than 2,000 prison wardens today, says his administration has initiated a plan to look into these concerns.
The passing out parade for over 2300 prison warders at the Prisons Staff Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu County was the first Prison pass-out parade to be presided over by President Kenyatta.
He said the Government is making plans to tailor its budgetary allocation to the prisons service in Kenya to meet the changing operational and logistic requirements.
We will also improve the terms and conditions of service for all Prison personnel, so that the importance of their work is properly recognised and compensated.
He also urged Prison officers not to lose concentration due to the current challenges they may be facing and begged them to engage prisoners in formal education and vocational training programmes, in order to get them back into the society for equal participation like normal members of the community.
Our correctional officers have not always had an easy time – conditions of service have sometimes been challenging – but you have not lost your focus.
He also instructed all agencies in the criminal justice system and partners to tighten collaborations with the Kenya Prisons Service to develop common approaches to penal reform so as to attain the noble goals of character change.
Photo courtesy: The Standard