At least 2,500 fresh prison trainee warders were Wednesday enrolled into a training programme at Kenyatta University.
The courses will be offered at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College in Ruiru following a partnership between the two institutions.
Vice-Chancellor Olive Mugenda asked other security agencies to emulate the example to equip their staff with skills that will enable them deal with emerging issues.
She was speaking during a matriculation ceremony for the newly recruited prison officers who will undergo certificate, diploma and post-graduate courses at the college.
Also present was the Kenya Prison Service Commissioner General Isaiah Osugo.
The recruits, who include 94 cadets, will be trained in sociology, criminology and other courses developed by the university in collaboration with the prison college.
Prof Mugenda said the university will partner with government institutions in fighting corruption and other vices.
“We expect the warders, once equipped with the necessary professional skills, to be able to offer better service to inmates by listening more to them and counselling them for them to become better members of the society,” the VC said.
Mr Osugo, who was accompanied other top service commanders, said the programme will go a long way in helping the prison service meet its objectives.
He said currently, the country has 56,000 prisoners in comparison to 22,500 prison officers, including the newly recruited ones.
The number of prisoners has risen from 45,000 three years ago, he added.
“This partnership with KU will no doubt go a long way in helping us improve our operations and train our inmates to be useful in the society once they come out,” Mr Osugo said.
He said the service was considering introducing parole which allows inmates to go home even before they finish their jail term and attend to personal matters then go back to prison.
“But the problem with our people is that they may not be trusted to go back to jail once set free,” he said.