Kenya: prisons are full of young and poor petty offenders, report indicates

More than 75 per cent of prisoners are aged between 18 and 35, with a majority of them being petty offenders.

An audit report into the country’s criminal justice system released Monday by Chief Justice David Maraga, shows a high number of poor people are being jailed compared to the rich.

The report further faults the police for carrying out shoddy investigations, saying some of the cases leading to jail terms should not have ended up in courts.

Releasing the report, Justice Maraga questioned why a majority of young people charged in court for various offences end up in prison when they should be given alternative ways of rebuilding their lives to help decongest prisons.

“It is worrying when more poor people are arrested, charged and sent to prison as compared to the rich. What is worrying more is that majority of those in jail or remand prisons are between 18 and 35 years,” said Maraga.

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