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Inmates enjoy rare valuable time with family

UREPORT
By Iregi Mwenja | May 1st 2017 | 2 min read
It was a happy moment at Nakuru women’s prison as inmates got a chance to meet their families in a rare event known as remote parenting and open day. This is a privilege accorded to women prisoners to enable them to meet their children and offer parental care.

Families travelled from far and wide to come and see their mother, their sister or their daughter and enjoy quality time together mingling freely without usual bars separating them.

It was an event full of emotions as families hugged their loved ones, most of them for the first time in years. Tears of joy flowed freely during the first contact but things quickly changed as inmates starting catching up on the going on at home and the development of their children.

The Kenya Prison Service has instituted reforms that are making it a modern correctional institution. Remote parenting and prisons open days have emerged as distinct innovations that promote best practices in correctional management.

The Nakuru charities groups provided meals, refreshment, and entertainment for the event.

The inmates and their families mingled freely with the prisons staff and Nakuru charities group members. They prayed together and danced in the rains for the better part of the afternoon as everyone forgot the pain that comes with incarceration and separation.

PDO Counselor Leslyn Shirukha who prepared the inmates for the meeting praised the management of Nakuru Women's Prison for providing the mothers with such a valuable opportunity to take part 'remotely' in the parenting of their children and meet their families.

She added that this gesture would go a long way in helping them to reform and prepare them for re-integration back into their communities upon release.

According to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (UNSMR), Special attention shall be paid to the maintenance and improvement of relations between a prisoner and his or her family as are desirable in the best interest of both’.

Psychiatric Disability Organization took part in the event by offering emotional and psychological support to the inmates and their families, given the emotions that such an event elicit. PDO provided counseling services to prepare inmates for the meeting, and how to manage the emotions that accompany it.
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