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Hope in education for jailed sexual offenders at Kericho Prison

Hope in education for jailed sexual offenders at Kericho Prison

Bureti,

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

KNA by Sarah Njagi

Sexual offenders at the Kericho Medium prison facing long prison sentences have committed to invest their jail time to pursue formal education at the prison school.

According to the penal institution deputy officer in charge who doubles up as the Principal of the Prison High School, Senior Superintendent of Prisons (SSP) Lennar Chepkirui Chepkwony revealed that sexual offenders at the penal institution now have a chance to be turn their lives around through education at the prison institution.

“Education is an important tool of rehabilitation and reformation of prisoners that can change their behaviour, character irrespective of their offenses. It provides an avenue for a prisoner’s transformation to become better persons in their communities.

Those who had fallen on the wrong side of the law and are imprisoned here are being offered a chance to pursue both their primary and secondary school education from class 8 to form four,” said Chepkwony.

She noted that informal education in prison was an effective form of rehabilitation for prisoners since it provided an opportunity for employment for the released inmates in addition to creating an avenue for the prisoner to turn his life around and become better persons in their communities.

Chepwkony observed that children required parental guidance on matters of sex education which could act as a key intervention to prevent sexual abuse and gives an opportunity to teach about healthy relationships.

“Parents play a key role in educating their children about sexuality so that as they grow up they will be able to make the right choices in their relationships rather than to wait for them to face incarceration on sexual offences charges. Also inadequate sex education has seen the rise of sexual offenders in prison and there is need to incorporate this in the school’s curriculum,” noted Chepkwony.

The prison currently has its own examination center christened Kericho Prison 2 where inmates sitting for their class eight national examinations undertake their KCPE before proceeding for their secondary school education at the prison secondary school.

In addition, the Kericho medium prison offers vocational training for inmates interested in pursuing hands on skills including carpentry, joinery, metal work, tailoring and handcrafts as they serve their jail terms.

In an interview with KNA, an inmate from Roret area in Bureti sub-county within Kericho County Emmanuel Cheruiyot said he was serving a jail term of ten years for the offence of rape adding that at the time of his arrest he was in Form two at Kabartegan secondary school but has opted to continue with his formal education at the prison school.

“I was slapped with a jail term of 10 years this was in August 2022 for the offence of rape. Am remorseful and I opted to continue with my formal education after dropping out of school in Form three following my arrest. I am now in Form One at the prison school. Prison life is tough and I advise the youth not to engage in early relationships but to focus on their education,” said Cheruiyot.

A prisoner Brian Chepkwony from Cheplanget area in Bureti sub-county within Kericho County is facing 15 years in jail after he was convicted for defiling a 14-year- old minor said he dropped out of school after completing his primary school education where he scored 225 marks in his KCPE and was now pursuing his secondary school education at the prison school.

“I was convicted in 2019 and I was sentenced to serve 15 years for the offence of defilement. I have now seen the seriousness of being educated as I pursue my secondary school education at Kericho Medium Prison secondary school. It is my prayer that I become a pastor.” said Chepkwony.

Some of the serious sexual offences seen under the Kenyan Sexual Offences Act 2006 are rape, gang rape, defilement, sexual assault, incest, sodomy and a person guilty of any of the offences is liable upon conviction to of jail terms of not less than five years but which may be enhanced to imprisonment for life.

Courtesy; KNA

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