PS Muhia urges Kenyans to support inmate-made products

When Mwenda Mwanzia, chairman of New Beginning for former convicts and former Kenya Prisons Commissioner General Isaiah Osugo inspected some of the lotions made by inmates. [File, Standard]

Correctional Services Principal Secretary Salome Muhia has urged Kenyans to support the Prisons Department by buying products made by inmates.

Speaking during a visit to Nyeri Maximum Prison, the PS urged Kenyans to embrace the "Buy Kenya Build Kenya" initiative and consider purchasing furniture and other metalwork products manufactured by the inmates.

“Prisoners make exceptional quality products, supporting these initiatives would not only contribute to national development but also provide a meaningful opportunity for the inmates to reintegrate into society,” she said.

She added that her visit to Nyeri Maximum Prison revealed tremendous progress in the rehabilitation and reform efforts being undertaken by the prison authorities. 

The PS commended the cordial relationship between the correctional officers and the inmates.

“Our reason for visiting is to see the status of the prison, what has been done, the status of the projects that are being carried on by the State Department and to interrogate the challenges that they have and seek solutions to those challenges,” she said.

Ms Muhia added: “The standards of cleanliness are very high, and we have not had any mortality due to disease or even inmates escaping because of dissatisfaction. We are very happy about the relationship between our correctional service officers and the inmates.”

She assured that her department is working closely with the State Department of Industry to upgrade the equipment and boost production, an effort that aims to increase the scale of vocational training programs, including tailoring, carpentry, plumbing, welding, and metal fabrication.

"Despite equipment challenges, my State Department is collaborating closely with the Department of Industry to upgrade and accelerate production. We are also inspecting ongoing projects, identifying stalled ones, and nearing completion on others,” she said.

The PS said initiatives are underway to improve education within correctional facilities.  She said that the introduction of computers and e-learning has led to the emergence of graduates trained in various fields such as law.

“We are trying to upgrade the level of education through the provision of computers so that we can scale up e-learning. And I am happy to report that in some of our prisons, we actually have graduates. We have graduates of law. Now soon we are going to have graduates of medicine, business and we want to increase this through collaboration with the State Department of Higher Learning as well as the State Department of TVETS,” she said.