Fund agencies supporting correctional facilities, envoy urges

Development partners have urged the government to allocate adequate resources in the national budget to finance organisations supporting correctional facilities.
Switzerland Ambassador to Kenya Ralf Heckner said Thurday there is need to extend financial support to organisations dealing with 129 correctional facilities that accommodates between 52,000 and 54,000 prisoners.
“Non-governmental organisations, foundations and diplomatic missions play a critical role in enhancing social change in the society and thus the need for the government and other local organisations to supplement their input to guarantee complete change to offenders,” said Heckner.  The diplomat is also in-charge of Rwanda, Burudi, Uganda and Somalia.
Local and international organisations working with local prisons, Heckner observed have been receiving material, technical and financial support from development partners and other global sources.
“Owing to Government increased recognition of human rights and role played by prisons in building the society, there is need to support the organisations rehabilitating the inmates. This can be well achieved through public-private partnership by government supplementing the organisation’s corporate social responsibility,” said Heckner.
He made the remarks during the launch of Faraja Foundation Strategic Plan (2018-2022) at a Nairobi hotel.
Faraja Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that rehabilitates and reintegrates prisoners and other vulnerable people in the society.
The organisation was founded by 89 year-old Swiss Benedictine Priest Fr Peter Meienberg.
Faraja Foundation chairman David Bett said in the next five years, his institution will partner with Kenya Prisons Service to deal with challenges that affect rehabilitation of offenders ranging from non-responsive programmes, inadequate resources and congestion.
Further, Bett clarified that the foundation scope of work will respond to three thematic areas -capacity development, community adaptation projects and human rights advocacy.
“Our attention in the next five years will focus on the society adaptation outside prison by ensuring ex-offenders are united with their families and are embraced by the society. And enhancing human rights and advocacy,” said Bett.
In the last five years, the organisation has reached out to more than over 300 beneficiaries through business startups support and skills training.
He noted that the foundation has further trained more than  500 inmates from four different correctional institutions in peer counselling and creative skills while 250 jailbirds have been reintegrated back to the society.
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Prisons Rose Moturi confirmed that Kenya Prisons Service Act  is under review to harmonise it with the current Constitution.
According to the Economic Survey 2018, the number of persons committed to prisons decreased marginally from 210, 227 in 2016 to 209, 870 in 2017.
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