Prison reform in Kenya

Quite a la-di-da post title for me :)

My pal Tom’s girlfriend asked me to re-post her appeal letter on the www.justicefortom.com website (appeal that is for cash to make prisoners’ and remandees’ lives better in Kenya). I have done so, but whilst tweaking the spelling (sorry Sally) I re-read the post and what she was asking for.

Now, read the following, and tell me that this is not reasonable to expect in a civilised society, or any society FFS:

The first thing is to buy pipes for the existing borehole at Kamiti prison so we can get running water to 4000 inmates (at the moment they only get an occasional bucket if the mains are working). We have a quote of 75,000 shillings – £650 to sort this problem out.

There needs to be reform of the work available to prisoners beyond heavy industry at 10cents a day. We have a plan for inmates to make handmade greeting cards to earn money to buy extra food, soap and send something home to their families who they can no longer support. We will supply paints and card. I will help organize the sales.

In the longer term if the authorities can respond and cooperate, we would like to help:
- to improve the visiting area where you get 15 minutes behind thick dark wire and have to yell at the top of your voice. This area is so dirty and where most diseases spread ie typhoid.
- to improve the library and learning facilities, ie computers
- to improve the diet of inmates
- to get pay phones in all the blocks
- to get a limit on time people can be held in remand

Now, I get quite a lot of stick for being a part of Team Tom, and often have to fight a corner I know nothing about. I really am an amateur, he is just my mate, but the above just seems… well crazy quite frankly.

Regardless of how you fall in the ‘Tom is guilty/not guilty’ debate, (please don’t have this with me), the fact that the prison system just needs a small injection of cash and Reason should not come into it – so give me a break!

That was it really, just a bit of a moan, as ever!!!!

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