Conference on Improving Prison Infrastructure Underway in Nairobi

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By Martin Masinde

A conference to deliberate on the best practices of improving prison infrastructure is currently underway in Nairobi.

 This is the third workshop on prison infrastructures for English-speaking African countries which will run from today 7th to 10th June, 2022.

Representing the Cabinet Secretary of interior, ICT CS Joe Mucheru said,

“One major challenge facing our prisons is infrastructure both in terms of quality and quantity. Overcrowding in prisons remains a big challenge for many states world over, Kenya included. One way of dealing with this problem is by stakeholders working together to minimize the number of offenders who end up in prison through the use of alternatives to imprisonment.

However, there is need to continue developing prison infrastructure to deal with the prison population which keeps surging. Inadequate, low quality or dilapidated infrastructure affects all areas of prison management including poor prisoners’ and staff living conditions, poor working conditions and lack of space to carry out rehabilitation programmes.”

CS Mucheru added that the issue of prison infrastructure needs a more pragmatic approach to meet the emerging needs.

“Equally worth of noting is the emerging calibre of inmates especially those involved in Violent Extremism, who pose a new security threat within prisons, nations, regions and even globally. I trust that these deliberations will look into how to secure our prisons including designing infrastructure that would address the challenge of radicalization in prisons.”

CS Mucheru called upon players in the correction facilities to embrace technology.

On her part the Principal Secretary correctional services Safina Kwekwe said the government is rolling out elaborate plans to empower those in the correctional facilities.

“As you think of ways of improving conditions in prisons, I urge you to be privy to the unintended impacts of new technology aimed at improving services and conditions of incarceration. For instance, how do we ensure that the internet which we need for conducting virtual courts is not used by inmates to engage in criminal activities while serving their sentences.”

Red Cross Chief Executive Dr Asha Mohamed also noted that they are working closely with the correctional institutions in a bid to ensure humane living conditions to the inmates.

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