The government has pledged to hire 1,000 probation officers to help reintegrate small criminals back into society.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the government aims to hire 400 more officers while speaking at the induction of 600 newly hired probation officers at the Kenya School of Government on Thursday.

“Our focus is the reintegration of offenders into society. You know the second time, third time and fourth time offenders are evidence that our aftercare work is not successful,” Matiang’i said.

According to the CS, successful reintegration of convicts into society will be measured by a decrease in repeat offenses.

He expressed confidence that, with the addition of the new probation officers, the number of repeat offenders will plummet.

“This is the first time in the history of our country we have had that number of probation officers since independence.” 

Matiang’i praised the Judicial Service Commission and the Judiciary, which are led by Chief Legal Martha Koome, for incorporating community service into the justice system.

“Let the Chief Justice know that we are ready and prepared to support that drive jointly with the Office of the Public Prosecutor because that is how we are going to decongest our prisons,” he stated.

According to Matiang’i, holding some offenders in prison for penalties as little as Sh600 for a traffic violation is not economically feasible.

“We don’t have the resources to keep the number of offenders that we have. We are keeping some matatu violator for parking on the yellow line, are we serious honestly,” Matiang’i posed.

In the second phase of decongestion, between May and June, Matiang’i hopes to release around 5000 minor offenders from prison and integrate them into the community service program.