A total of 22 inmates serving jail sentence of less than three years in Narok County were all smiles Thursday after they were set free in a move aimed at decongesting prisons.
The Narok GK Prison set free 12 inmates while Kilgoris GK Prison released 10 who will be put on probation for a period of time to allow a smooth transition back into the society.
The Narok North Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Ronald Mwiwawi who witnessed the release said those set free are mostly petty offender like traffic offences, illicit brewing, stealing and causing violence.
Those being set free today are those whose character and attitude has been monitored closely and the probation officers satisfied that they are fit to go back to the society, he said.
He however, warned them that they would be returned to prison and given tougher penalties in case they committed similar or other crimes that led them to jail.
We have seen what happened in the past where ex-convicts commit more serious offences that land them back to prison, we believe you are now reformed people who can serve the society better, he said.
The Narok Director of Probation, John Bett said they will follow closely the ex-convicts to ensure they were reformed and that they were accepted back to the society.
He challenged them to be ambassadors of peace and security back at home in order to prove to the society that they were changed people in the society.
We expect you to be better people than you were before you were brought to prison. Go and prove yourself to be a potential person who can earn a livelihood from doing legal business, he said.
The commended the move, saying he is confident that those set free will exercise the skills they learnt among them masonry, carpentry, tailoring and farming.
Josephine Nyaboke who was put behind bars for illegal brewing said she reglects her past mistakes promising to engage in farming to earn a living.
I am glad that the judiciary has given us a second chance. I am going back home as a changed person and I will ask my children to forgive me because I will not engage in illicit brewing again, she said.
During the event that was held at Narok Polytechnic, over 500 tree seedlings were planted at the institution’s ground to commemorate the release of the 22 convicts.
The exercise is being carried out countrywide and is aimed at decongesting prisons.
During the 2016 Mashujaa Day Celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta pardoned more than 7,000 convicts held for petty crimes and those who were about to finish their prison sentences
The Kenyan Constitution gives the president the power of granting a free or conditional pardon to a person convicted of an offense and also substituting a less severe form of punishment.
Source: Kenya News Agency