By: STELLA CHERONO
There are 55,359 prisoners in Kenya, Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, James Kodieny has said. He said the prisoners are held in 118 facilities countrywide.
“New prisons are being constructed and the old ones are undergoing modernisation and refurbishment,” he said.
Addressing commissioners at the 57th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul, Gambia, Mr Kodieny said 1,714 inmates have died in prisons over the last five years.
The largest number of inmates’ death were reported in 2013 where 623 males and nine females lost their lives.
He said the inmates died as a result of health causes, natural causes and suicide.
ACHPR Commissioner Med Kagwa had sought to know why a high number of inmates died in prisons.
Mr Kodieny said the government has embarked on a project to decongest prisons.
“The Department has been working closely with National Community Service Order Committee so as to decongest the prisons through community service orders,” Mr Kodieny said.
He said the department had entered into an agreement with the Swedish Prisons and Probation Services, the Raoul Wellenberg Institute and the Aftercare Services to improve rehabilitation of offenders.
“The government has also invested in detective equipment to ensure that those in custody do not conceal weapons that could endanger the lives of other cellmates,” he said.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION