Religious leaders in Isiolo County have appealed to members of public and especially spouses to embrace resolution of domestic disputes outside courts of law, in order to avert scenarios where one of them suffers behind bars for matters that would be sorted out amicably had they embraced dialogue.
Addressing Inmates at the Isiolo G.K Prison yesterday when they paid a visit to encourage them, the religious leaders from different denominations and faith based organizations also decried poor investigations and prosecution, arguing that quite a number of inmates are behind bars for crimes they did not commit.
Isiolo Interfaith Network Secretary Bishop Stephen Kalunyu and Chemi Chemi ya Ukweli Programs officer Oringo Omamo who led the delegation called upon those responsible for carrying out investigations and prosecuting suspected offenders to discharge their mandate diligently, in order to ensure that only those who are guilty are punished and that innocent people do not find themselves behind bars.
The Chairperson, Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya Isiolo Chapter Rtd. Col. Hassan Bonaya noted that cases whereby criminals especially drug traffickers pack the illegal substances and put them in public transport buses where those close to the luggage become answerable have become common in recent times, calling for thorough probe to nail down criminals.
The clerics noted that a number of inmates are also behind bars due to petty offences especially relating to domestic disputes where spouses fail to forgive each other. Hellen Muthoni who represented the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) advised remandees who find themselves in prison due to conflicts with their spouses to ensure that they have dialogue with their respective partners, forgive each other and have the cases withdrawn in order to end their stay behind bars.
The inmates were encouraged to make the best out of their stay in prison by enrolling for various courses such as masonry, carpentry, welding, and tailoring that will equip them with life skills to make them useful to their respective communities once they complete their jail terms.
The Deputy Officer In Charge at the Isiolo G.K Prison Duba Boru Abarufa lauded the move by the clerics to visit the inmates, noting that their words of encouragement were in line with the ideals of the Prisons Service to guide the inmates to become better people who will be of use to the society in future.
He noted that the correctional facility offers a wide range of courses that equip the prisoners with skills that they can rely on to make a living when they leave the jail, and consequently reduce the chances of them re-engaging in crime and ultimately finding themselves back in prison.
The clerics also donated household items such as bar soaps, sanitary towels and tissue papers for use by the inmates.