The Ex-Offenders Rehabilitation and Reintegration Project (ERRP) is a project currently in two correctional facilities namely Nyeri and Nanyuki prisons. It aims at helping the Ex-offenders regain their social and economic standing in the society upon their release. This is done through the involvement of the victim, the offender and the community in restorative justice approaches.
Promotion of restorative justice mechanisms to the victims and the ex-offenders for effective reintegration.
Ex-offenders drawn from Nyeri and Nanyuki Prison recommended through the Prison Discharge Boards.
Nyeri and Nanyuki Prisons.
Charity Mumbi Kamana is aged 35 years old. She was accused of the offence of conspiracy to steal and was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. She hails from Gaaki Location, Tetu division in Nyeri County. Prior to her conviction, Charity, a mother of two, was a casual labourer at a construction company in Nyeri. She is separated from her husband and now lives at her mother’s home with her two sons.
Charity’s misfortunes began when she refused sexual advances from her employer which made her working environment hostile. She maintains that she was framed on the charges leveled against her. She feels that she suffered unjustly hence denying her children good parenting.
Her mother, Jane Nyambura, 65, is a peasant farmer. She was so emotionally affected by her daughter’s imprisonment. During that time she has dutifully struggled to educate her grandsons. One of the sons has completed secondary education and is casually employed. The other will be joining high school next year.
One of the positives that she carries with her from prison is that through her imprisonment she has learnt a lot of skills. She has learnt skills in mat making and poultry keeping. She admits that life behind bars is not easy but adds that she does not hold any bitterness to what she felt was unjustified confinement.
Charity was identified as an ERRP beneficiary. Her progress and character in the Women prison facility has been impressive. She was trained on the 29th June -1st July 2014 on the following areas:
Upon training, she was elected as a secretary to GREAT HOPE Self Help Group in Caritas-Nyeri. This group is made of 13 trained ex-offenders. This group is an addition to the other groups namely; Voice of Hope, Movers, and Jubilant. Through this group, she will be able to benefit from a loan after saving for at least 6 (six) months. The group members will also be guarantors to loans taken.
Already, she is almost to complete a structure where she intends to keep chicken which will give her additional income to help see her son through secondary school.
Charity appreciates the ERRP programme for identifying her and she promises to be a better person. The community members appreciates her presence. She asserts that she is ready to forgive the people who led to her imprisonment.
Susan Wangui Wanjiku is 22 years old. She is an orphan. Her only sister Miriam is married and resides in Ol kalou in Nyandarua County. She has lived a life of struggle since she was young. After her primary school she joined Karemenu Secondary School through the benevolence of Daughters of the Sacred Heart. She later dropped out in Form 3 due to lack of school fees.
After dropping out of school she was employed in Nairutia as a bar attendant. During this period she befriended and later got pregnant to one of the proprietors of the club. This realization was hard to take for her. She was later to learn that this man was married and with children. She later got arrested on charges of stealing by servant at her place of work. She was imprisoned for 18 months. This move as she maintains, was instigated by the father of her child to avoid further suspicions to their relationship and pregnancy. She was convicted and imprisoned for one and half (1½ ) years.
In November 2013, she delivered a baby boy Fortune while in prison. She admits it was one of the hardest times as she did not have anything to provide her child. The Chief Chaplain Fr. J.B Ndungu and well wishers from Caritas- Nyeri mobilised clothes for her and the baby. The father to her kid only visited her once in prison but was unable to say anything. Later she would refuse to pick calls by Susan. Due to her delicate situation, Susan had been assigned light roles of a nanny to the other prisoner’s children as they worked. She did not learn a skill while there.
The programme assessed the environment she was to join in Nairutia where she had lived. It established that there was a lot of bad blood especially after the wife of her former employer knew of their relationship with Susan and the attendant pregnancy. Her only sister could not be able to host her as she is burdened with her children. The steering committee advised that she needed to be placed where she would easily restart her life with her son.
The programme together with the prison Chaplaincy identified a neutral place that she could re-establish herself from. A few items like clothes, kitchen appliances, food items and a room were provided to the beneficiary in Chaka area in Nanyuki.