Concern as Lamu’s ex-convicts commit crimes to return to free food in prison
The prison administration at the Lamu Hindi GK prison has raised concerns over an increase in the number of ex-convicts committing new crimes just to re-enter the facility.
The Hindi GK Prison Senior Superintendent, Festo Odongo, said that recidivism, or in simpler terms, re-offending, undermines the primary reason for imprisonment, which is to serve as a deterrent to future lawbreaking.
“In recent times, inmates who complete their jail terms have intentionally gone out to commit similar or minor offenses to return to the prison to continue enjoying free meals and other services like medication,” Odongo said.
Odongo said the main reason for the rising rate of recidivism in Lamu is that convicts want to continue enjoying free services including food provided by the state due to the tough economic situation.
According to Hindi GK prison, with the harsh economic times, including the high cost of living, repeat offenders find that life in prison is cheaper than outside.
According to data from Kenya Prisons, the majority of repeat offenders are likely to be young, unemployed males who had unstable lifestyles before imprisonment.
“For such characters, desisting from such freedom is crucial and can enable them to make major strides in life rather than getting held in prison, hence infringing their freedom,” Odongo advised the offenders.