Kenya plans to free 8,000 inmates to decongest prisons

RUIRU, Kenya, March 8 (Xinhua) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Thursday his government will release about 8,000 prisoners as part of efforts to decongest prisons across the country.

Kenyatta said investing more in the prisons and other security agencies will make Kenya more secure and attract investments.

“The government is currently processing 8,000 prisoners for alternative correctional programs outside prisons as part of plans to decongest the facilities,” he said during the passing out parade of 3,198 prisons officers in Ruiru.

According to government statistics, prisons in Kenya are holding three times the designed capacity of such facilities and have been condemned for excessive congestion that violates basic human rights.

The East African nation has 89 prisons and a prison population of 50,000. Kenyatta has announced plans by the government to seek for alternative correctional programs as part of plans to decongest prisons.

He also directed the prisons department to launch income-generating activities to help the government address the country’s revenue challenge.