The government has devised a new way of decongesting prisons by engaging inmates imprisoned for less than three years in tree-planting exercises.
Liaising with the State Department for Correctional Services, the Ministry of Environment through Permanent Secretary (PS) Mary Muthoni said the move will go a long way in fulfilling President William Ruto’s call for Kenyans to plant trees.
“This exercise could not have come at a better time than this when our President has called on all of us to participate in tree planting to reach the 15 billion target,” PS Muthoni said.
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“Through this initiative, we will be able to decongest the prisons because as I have said before, our prisons are overcrowded with petty offenders who will be useful once they are released to community service.”
Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu urged the national government to collaborate with the county governments in ensuring that young people have something to do within their communities in order to prevent them from being involved in criminal activities.
“These people we are seeing in prisons are our brothers and sisters. I have seen even those who have been released today are very young people who would be very useful in our regions. It is time both levels of government did something together to make good use of these people so that we can stop having so many of them in prisons,” Irungu said.
On Tuesday, 166 petty offenders were released through Community Service Orders and they were part of the tree planting.
They spoke at Marmanet Forest in Nyahururu, Laikipia County during the celebration of International Forests Day. 100,000 trees were planted during the event.
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