All women’s prisons will be equipped with day care centres to improve the welfare of the children born in the correctional institutions.
Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Winnie Guchu, observed that children as young as one month are living with their jailed mothers in deplorable conditions.
Speaking Thursday at Embu Women’s Prison during the official opening of the first Day Care Centre, Ms Guchu said the government has partnered with Faraja Foundation to achieve its goal.
Faraja has already provided 2,160 beds to be distributed to all the 43 women prisons in Kenya. She lamented that the women and their children sleep on cold floors in crowded prisons due to lack of beds. The CAS said innocent children should not be treated as prisoners.
“These children should have a place in prisons where they can sleep and be fed well until their mothers complete their jail terms,” she said.
At the same time, the CAS ordered the Commissioner of Prisons Wycliffe Ogallo to consider lifting the ban on visiting prisoners. She observed that inmates were suffering physiologically because their relatives are not allowed to visit them.
“Visiting was banned when Covid-19 hit the country and prisoners have been complaining. The Commissioner of Prisons should lift the ban,” she said.
She observed that prisoners do not have enough soaps and toilet papers because their relatives no longer visit them.
“The government can’t provide everything to the inmates and relatives who want to help them should not be locked out,” she said.