Strenghtening Human Rights in Correctional Facilities in Kenya Results and Outputs



Results and Outputs

  • The project reached 23,896 beneficiaries (23,326 remandees, prisoners and offenders held within the criminal justice system in police custody, remand, jail and probation hostels, and 570 Human Rights Defenders)
  • Formation of Sub-Committee of Criminal Justice System Reform and Implementation Committee within the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ)
  • The Action Plan of Human Rights to include Penal Institutions Issues was a major achievement in pushing the agenda of human rights to the centre of Kenya’s strategy on correctional facilities
  • Support of 50 Human Rights Desks, to enhance their operational capacity and their capacity building activities
  • Developing and piloting local adaptation of the UNSMR (UN Standard Minimum Rules) into an Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool (ICMT) for human rights provision in 15 prisons
  • The launch of an Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool for KPS based on the Mandela Rules (UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners) that took place on the 10th December 2015 during the national celebration of the International Human Rights Day (IHRD). The launch indicated the commitment of KPS top command to the internal monitoring process of human rights compliance. In attendance during the event was the KPS Deputy Commissioner, who represented the Commissioner General of KPS. The initial piloting will take place in 15 prisons with a plan on up-scaling in the next GoK financial year
  • Establishment of 15 EWRM committees using the UNSMR – ICMT to address human rights issues: EWRM meetings were hailed as a way of managing the inclusion of all the 9 sections present in each prison and promoting individual responsibility in the provision of human rights
  • Undertaking capacity building for 570 Human Rights Defenders and the convening of 2 multi-agency workshops focused on finalising the review of prison laws, especially Chapter 92 of the Laws of Kenya
  • Reduction of HR violations to 28% and supporting KPS efforts to increase human rights compliance to 70% in the target institutions
  • Streamlining case management and establishment of counselling, rehabilitation and reintegration sections for HRDs, and the provision of related services in 20 detention facilities
  • Provision of paralegal support and psychosocial support, aftercare and socio-economic empowerment for reintegrated offenders
  • The research on ‘Human Rights for People Deprived of Liberty in Kenya’, incorporated best practices like the EWRM through compliance with the UNSMR using the Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool and the documentation system for HROs as actions that needed replication at national level within the 118 prisons since they were ‘no-cost’ initiatives to implement as part of strengthening human rights standards within correctional facilities in Kenya
    Download the report: 'Human Rights and Deprivation of Liberty in Kenya'
  • In the two years of the project, the Economic Empowerment component targeted 104 post-trial inmates with the provision of a toolkit
  • Capacity building activities targeting Human Rights Defenders: their assessments were characterised by personal testimonies of officers indicating that they had acquired a new mind frame on human rights issues, through identifying the correlation of several factors leading to behaviour change. PSS training was personal to each officer and thus the outcome was experienced by the trainees, their families and also their clients
  • The infrastructure improvement in 7 prisons has had a direct impact on the 3,420 inmates through provision of counselling services, access to justice and clean drinking water, where no such facilities existed before
  • 13,492 inmates were provided with opportunities to address legal hiccups that were derailing the wheels of justice concerning their cases and by doing so, there was a marked reduction in the many conflicts between inmates and the prison officers
  • 145 Human Rights Defenders received skills in Participatory Educative Theatre (PET) to work as Trainers of Trainers (ToTs) in their prisons, facilitating dialogue for addressing the general lifestyle within each correctional facility
  • Awareness campaign conducted within the 20 correctional facilities through Participatory Educational Theatre (PET): through the use of the PET programme, the project established a forum for the inmates and probationers to raise awareness of human rights violation issues for people in the criminal justice system, presenting its detrimental aspects, highlighting violence prevention, showcasing inmates’ perceptions of an appropriate Early Warning and Reporting Mechanism, and reviewing legal frameworks
  • The International Prisoners’ Justice Day was celebrated for the first time in Kenya, and in Africa, on the 10th of August 2015 at Nairobi Allocation and Remand Prison – Industrial Area, and reached 600 beneficiaries
  • The project marked International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2015, organising celebrations in 2015 and 2016 within Kenyan facilities
  • Dissemination of the research findings was organised by the IJJO and CEFA in Nairobi to share the research findings with partners, stakeholders, and EU and GoK agencies working in criminal and juvenile justice sectors
    The dissemination in Nairobi was done on 3 levels:
    • Kenya Prison Service: Presentations of the survey and the research were made by the IJJO consultant to the Directorates in charge of Human Rights and Rehabilitation and Welfare at the service headquarters. Research findings were found to be acceptable and when presented to Commissioner General of Prisons, he endorsed the research but recommended that an advisory be sought from the Office of the Attorney General. The rationale behind the advisory was to get official endorsement, since the publication would then be viewed as an official government position on the research as they were part and parcel of the process
    • Probation Department: the research was endorsed and officially accepted as a true confirmation of an earlier research project that had been commissioned by the Department’s Director on the state of human rights in their probation hostels
    • Dissemination Conference in Nairobi: The IJJO presented the findings to an audience made up of beneficiaries, associates (such as KNCHR and NCAJ), other partners (Kituo cha Sheria, Haki Mashinani, RODI and IIDA, among others), representatives of the Head of the EU delegation in Nairobi and the Ambassador of the Swiss Republic. This conference took place in Nairobi at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on the 7th December 2016
  • Dissemination workshop in Brussels: The IJJO brought together a multi-agency audience at their premises in Brussels, with the aim of presenting the findings of the research on human rights in correctional facilities in Kenya and highlighting the emerging issues in the penal sector. This workshop took place on 17th January 2017 with the presence of representatives of the EU Headquarters, the First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya & Mission to the EU in Brussels, and other organisations working in the criminal justice and child rights system

This project has facilitated the following flagship/key outcomes for the Kenyan criminal justice system:

  • Review and inclusion of penal issues in the National Policy and Action Plan on Human Rights
  • Inception of EWRM committees in correctional facilities
  • Formation of NCAJ-Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Human Rights
  • Research and dissemination of findings about human rights violations within the criminal justice and correctional system in Kenya
  • Documentation system for HROs, piloted and rolled out for the first time with KPS
  • Local adaptation of the UNSMR into an Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool
  • Establishment of International Prisoners’ Justice Day in Kenya and Africa


With financial support from the EU Delegation in Kenya, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights