Officials: Counselling centre boost for inmates

Nakuru Women GK Prison Officer In Charge Emily Momanyi during an interview at the facility on March 2019. [Photo:Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

Inmates struggling with depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic disorders are receiving therapy at Nakuru GP Prison's new counselling centre.

The centre, set up at the women's wing of the prison in February, has 30 inmates registered as patients.

Mrs Prisicah Chemjor, who is in charge of counselling at the prison, said inmates, on their free will, sought help from the centre established by a local NGO, Faraja Trust Foundation, because of the privacy they were accorded.

"I have never seen such an overwhelming number of prisoners voluntarily seeking counselling for the 24 years I have been here. I attend to up to five inmates in a day. Before, a day would pass without seeing anyone," she said.

Records obtained by The Standard show at least 40 per cent of prisoners in Kenya are grappling with substance abuse and psychological disorders.

Counselling sessions at the prison would be held in the open and this hindered inmate from freely discussing challenges they were facing for fear of being ridiculed, Mrs Chemjor said.

Winrose Chepng'etich, serving five years for conspiracy to steal, said she was depressed when she was put behind bars but could not seek help because the environment for counselling was not as friendly as it is now.

Emily Momanyi, in charge of the prison, termed establishment of the centre timely.

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Nakuru GP PrisonFaraja Trust FoundationNakuru inmatesCounseling