State to re­lease petty of­fend­ers to de­con­gest pris­ons, says PS Powon

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

The gov­ern­ment plans to de­con­gest the pris­ons by re­leas­ing 15,000 in­mates. State Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices PS Micah Powon said free­ing mi­nor or non-vi­o­lent of­fend­ers will save the coun­try about Sh2.6 mil­lion daily. This trans­lates into Sh78 mil­lion ev­ery month and about a bil­lion an­nu­ally. He said the ex­tra funds will be in­jected back into the pris­ons to im­prove in­fra­struc­ture. Powon said con­ges­tion is high as the pris­ons have more than twice the ca­pac­ity they should han­dle. “Our pe­nal in­sti­tu­tions can hold up to 27,000 of­fend­ers. We are al­most at 55,000 of­fend­ers. This is un­ac­cept­able,” he said. He spoke yes­ter­day dur­ing the launch of a study ti­tled ‘Com­mu­nity Ser­vice and Pro­ba­tion for Women’ by Pe­nal Re­form In­ter­na­tional. It was un­der­taken be­tween Fe­bru­ary and April. There are 51,000 of­fend­ers on pro­ba­tion or serv­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice or­ders. Sev­en­teen per cent of them are women.

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