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