Nairobi News


Be good in prison and you’ll be released early – proposed law

Prisoners with good conduct will have their sentences cut by a third in efforts to decongest jails if a proposed law is approved.

The reduction in the prison term will, however, not apply to those serving life sentences or convicted of robbery with violence charges.

Kenya’s 110 prisons are congested and struggling with a budget deficit that has led to a biting food shortage and mounting debts. Plans are underway to build nine more prisons to ease congestion.

“Convicted criminal prisoners sentenced to imprisonment, whether by one sentence or consecutive sentences, for a period exceeding one month, may by industry (hard work) and good conduct earn a remission of one-third of their sentence or sentences,” reads part of the Bill sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale – who presents Cabinet-backed Bills to Parliament.

The amendment to the Prisons Act is contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2015.

This is a Bill that the government uses to make minor amendments to numerous Acts at a go.

A Judiciary task force recently reported that local prisons currently host more than double their inmates’ capacity. The task force appointed by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said the prisons designed for an average of 26,000 people a day were holding 52,143 inmates.