Anti-drug lobby Reachout Centre Trust has embarked on legal awareness and human rights education to prisoners in Mombasa and Kwale counties.
The Organisation has been working with the Shimo la tewa Maximum and Women prisons, King’orani Maximum and Kwale women prison engaging inmates on their rights and as well preparing them for reintegration processes.
The program was once halted due to the Covid-19 wrath, however it was restructured and the Organisation on Friday engaged with inmates at the King’orani Maximum prison.
Speaking during the legal awareness session, a lawyer, Titus Munyoki urged the inmates to properly question possible areas of facts and demand that their rights are fully observed during the arrest, when they are charged in court and during sentencing.
He revealed that some of the inmates could not explain the circumstances under which they found themselves behind bars, a situation that affects them psychologically even after they are released back to their families.
“You have to clearly know and understands why you are being arrested, the facts or charges leveled against yourself and always speak up when taken before court of law,” the advocate who is providing pro-bono legal services for the anti-drug lobby RCT told the inmates during the session.
According to Mr Munyoki, the legal awareness sessions to the target group are very equally critical since they are part of a human rights processes.
“It is very much in order to set free 100 people who have been charged with various petty offences than to sentence an innocent soul,” reiterated the Advocate from Munyoki Maheli & Company Advocates.
The Lawyer said human rights is universal and no one should infringe on other persons right.
He however, appealed to the inmates both prisoners and remandees to consider their future lives, that of their dependents and to deter from indulging in criminal activities.
Munyoki’s sentiments were fully backed by RCT Outreach supervisor Pili Saria who said the Organisation has been doing its best in ensuring People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) are not thrown behind bars but are registered to the Medically Assisted Therapy (MAT) program so that they are helped out of the drug dependency.
He said the legal awareness forums will be conducted at least weekly with an aim of imparting the right information regarding the inmates’ rights.
[The Inmates at King’orani Maximum prisons during Prisons Inreach session conducted by anti-drug lobby Reachout Centre Trust. Photo/Ted Kalama].
“Our Legal awareness program has been very fruitful and a considerate number of (PWUD) and who were arrested and detained were later registered to the methadone treatment program and are now carrying on with their recovery journey,” stated Mr Saria.
Meanwhile, RCT counselor Bakari Ali engaged the target group in counseling session with an aim of making the inmates recollect their brains and thinking capacity and reflect on how best they can serve their own society outside prisons.