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Prison farms and enterprises set for revamp

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Correctional Services PS Salome Beacco.

The government has prioritised the regeneration of prison industries and farms as part of ongoing efforts to revamp the enterprise.

Speaking at the Prison Staff Training College in Ruiru during a meeting with Kenya Prisons Service farm managers and in charge of industries, Correctional Services Principal Secretary Salome Beacco said restoration of the enterprises remain at the heart of ongoing reforms targeting correctional facilities.

According to the PS, the envisaged reforms within prison industries and farms, will ensure inmates benefit from vocational and agricultural training resulting in comprehensive rehabilitation and reformation of offenders with the aim of easing their integration back into the society after serving their respective sentences.

“The fact that 8,500 inmates were trained in various vocational trades where 25 borstal boys and 5 borstal girls were trained and tested with a further 56 borstal boys waiting for trade tests exam in December 2024 series is testament, that our correctional facilities are more than just places of confinement, but also avenues for rehabilitation and personal development.” She observed.

In efforts aimed at ensuring self-sustenance amid budget constraints, the PS said the State Department is working on modernizing Prison industries to enhance their capacity and competitiveness.

This even as she urged those tasked with managing the enterprises to improve standards and improve production to sustain operations across prison farms and industries.

“How can we be better organized to produce more and do things better?” she posed.

On environment and climate change mitigation, the PS urged farm managers to work towards achieving the target of planting 100 million trees annually, expand orchards and produce more tree seedlings.

“In pursuant to the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda the farming programs are designed to support food production,” observed the PS.

Under the National Landscape and Ecosystem restoration to grow 15 billion trees by 2032, there are currently 2,747,095 seedlings in the Kenya Prisons Service nurseries of which 1,232,660 are mature for planting while some 670,072 seedlings have been planted within prisons’ land in the last three months.

The enterprise has also initiated programs to produce potato in Nyandarua, Maize milling at the Naivasha prison, Rice milling in Mwea as well as the establishment of orchards in Kamiti, Ngeria, Nakuru Main prison, Makueni and Maranjau prisons.

In aligning with the government digital payment platform (e-citizen) the PS announced that the prison enterprise has amalgamated all 210 pay bills to one government pay bill 222222 for all revenue collection with all payments now cashless through eCitizen, EFT and corporate cheques.

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