On Friday, 12th May, 2017 Kituo Cha Sheria marked this year’s Justice Day at the Lang’ata Women’s Prison. Kituo together with the Lang’ata Women’s Prison conducted a colorful celebration at the Prison to commemorate milestones and progressive achievements that the Prison Justice Centre has realized since inception in March 2016.
The event brought together volunteer advocates, magistrates, community paralegals and probation officers within Nairobi who interacted with inmates as well as listened to the challenges they face when lodging appeals hence assisting them in accessing justice.
Ms. Stijn Janssen the first secretary in the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Nairobi graced the day as the guest of honour. Others in attendance were Kituo’s Executive Director, Ms.Gertrude Angote, Wairimu Thangate – Prison Regional Commander, Nairobi County; Makadara Law Courts Magistrate Jacqueline Kibosia; the officer-in-charge Lang’ata Prison Madam Olivia Obell and Martha Nyakoha from the Makadara Probation Office. Community paralegals from various Community Justice Centers in Nairobi were also present to celebrate the access to justice day.
The day’s events kicked off with a courtesy call at the officer-in-charge office before a tree planting and a conducted tour of the prison facility including visits to the prison day care, the prison justice centre and the bakery ahead of the ceremony.
Activities at the ceremony included a moot court presentation by the prison paralegals, poem, music and dance, fashion show and a modeling session.
The main activity was a presentation of achievements and challenges in accessing justice presented by the prison paralegals. Responses to prisoners’ presentations were made by the Magistrate Jacqueline Kibosia and volunteer advocates present.
Lang’ata women’s prison justice centre has thirty four (34) trained prisons paralegals made up of 30 inmates and 4 prison officers. In the centre’s first year of operation; 143 inmates have been discharged from various courts as a direct result of the assistance offered by paralegals at the Justice Center. This includes 103 through bail and bond applications, 15 acquittals and 25 cases withdrawn.