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State Department of Correctional Services Principal Secretary, PS Mary Muthoni, highlights government commitments to fast track petty cases of women with children in remand.

PS Mary Muthoni Jason who was speaking during her visit to Eldoret Women Prison expressed her dissatisfaction with the environment minors are being exposed to for the offences committed by their mothers.

According to Mary Muthoni, innocent children suffer the most for the mistakes of their mothers and they are exposed to all sorts of mannerism by the people locked together with their mothers in the remand.

“If the offences involving the mothers with children in prison fall on petty crime cases, they should be fast-tracked to see them get out of prison so that such children can grow just like any other child out there,” PS Mary Muthoni stated.

Concerned about the welfare of children locked alongside their mothers yet the state has not been doing budgetary allocation for their welfare, the PS state that her department is working on plans to separate them.

“As a department for correctional services we are working on this area to ensure the children are taken care of in separate areas also since they are prone to behaviour change that they may get exposed to while in prison,” Mary added.

The PS also stated that her department is considering use of alternative mechanisms to solve petty cases through the Nyumba Kumi and at the family level.

According to Mary, dealing with the petty cases at the family level and through the Nyumba Kumi set up will go a long way in decongesting prisons which are currently hosting thousands of petty offenders.

“We have adopted a multi-agency approach where we are going to the villages talking with the people on the importance of alternative dispute resolution, we don’t want to be a country where every now and then we are pushing offenders to prison when alternative mechanisms that are non-custodial exist,” she added.

 

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