Prisons should restore inmates, Uhuru implores

Friday, August 14th, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation. Photo/PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday directed the Kenya Prisons Service to embrace restoration and rehabilitation over punishment and stigmatisation.

The President, while speaking during a pass out parade at the Prisons Staff Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu county also urged the service to upscale the inmates in areas such as artisanry, agriculture, engineering and other vocations.

This, he said, would ensure that if they re-enter society, they do so with skills and competencies that open up opportunities for gainful employment as well as enterprise.

“As new recruits, I want you to condemn the actions and misdeeds of the evil doer but not the person and the human spirit in the prisoner.

You must do your best to restore their goodness and to restore their humanity.

This is how we shall together build a positive nation,” the President said.

“Shun prejudice. You must embrace restoration over stigmatisation. This is the emerging order of our corrective service.

Aspire to repair, to restore and to re-engage the human soul in your places of work. That is how great nations are made,” he added.

The President lauded the push by the Service for cashless transactions to support prison enterprises.

“Since we started the new system the revenues have shot up from a mere Sh2 million to over Sh700 million in under a year,” he said.

The Directorate of Prisons Enterprises is responsible for the management of technical services and training of inmates in various vocational programmes within the prisons.

He added the service had put in place measures to stamp out mobile phone scammers and introduced phone jammers and CCTV cameras.

“With these innovations the common scam of kupokea simu ya Kamiti will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Unlike in the past, the 3000 recruits were not allowed to invite any relatives or friends, as a measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus at the Ruiru College.

All the recruits and staff were subjected to mandatory Covid-19 tests early this week.  

“I am particularly pleased that you have maintained a Covid-19 free environment,” President Uhuru said.

When the disease broke out in the country in March, all schools and learning and training institutions were ordered closed to contain the spread. The recruits however continued with their training.

Yesterday, all guests were screened at the gate and the parade and march past were done before the President arrived at the parade, the number of trainees in a platoon has been reduced from 34 to 20 and the gap between a trainee to the other was adjusted to one and a half metres.

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