Strenghtening Human Rights in Correctional Facilities in Kenya Activities




The main aim of this project was to pave a solid way for the eradication of all forms of human rights violations within detention and custodial facilities in Kenya, and to mainstream the safeguarding of detainees’ human rights. The project achieved the following three predicted results through carrying out numerous activities:

RESULT 1: Human Rights Defenders and inmates were made aware of the constitutional provisions relating to the rule of law, human rights and the Early Warning and Reporting Mechanism (EWRM).


Carrying out and publishing a mapping and baseline survey on human rights violations in correctional facilities: ‘Baseline Survey on Human Rights and Deprivation of Liberty’ The baseline survey’s aim was to ascertain the extent, frequency and types of human rights violations within correctional facilities. The project management unit and the Kenya Prison Service (KPS) developed the questionnaires (one for inmates and one for officers) to collect critical data. The research tools were validated by the project partners and other stakeholders. The GoK Prison and Probation Services served as the baseline survey supervisors to assure objectivity in the exercise while Faraja, the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) and CEFA implemented the data collection. The data entry and analysis, as well as the report writing, was carried out by IJJO through its consultant in loco, and the findings informed capacity building activities for Human Rights Defenders, lobby and advocacy actions, identifying ways to strengthen inter-agency cooperation for well-functioning monitoring systems and building awareness and developing evidence-based actions to protect inmates and officers against human rights violations.

Provision of training for HRDs, staff and prisoners’ representatives in 20 detention facilities, the GoK Prison, Children and Probation Departments, magistrates and police officers

The project had two major training areas: 1) Psychosocial Support (PSS) targeting prison and probation officers; 2) Human Rights Defender (HRD) training targeting magistrates, probation officers, police officers and prisoners

CEFA was in charge of the direct implementation of the PSS training, while the project partner LRF took charge of the HR training due to it specific expertise in the field. Below is an overview of the two training areas:

Psychosocial support training

The training curricula incorporated on–the–job practical knowledge, attitude change, skills acquisition and basic competencies to enhance the skills of the GoK officers working in correctional facilities to achieve the provision of multi-dimensional services and outcomes for remandees and probationers held in correctional facilities.

-Development of Psychosocial Support (PSS) Training Manual and reporting tools

-Training of Psychosocial Support Officers (PSSOs)

-Training of Human Right Defenders

-Development of PSSOs (Psychosocial Support Officers) ToR (Terms of Reference)

Human rights training

LRF led training on human rights topics addressed to prison, probation, police and judiciary Officers. 50 police, 74 prison, 70 probation and 50 judiciary officers were trained. This training used a lecture method (presentations), plenary discussions and experiential examples to deliver the content, utilising materials referencing the current working documents of the Criminal Justice Agencies concerned.

Supporting management and coordination of the national security organs and HRDs

The current GoK structure has placed the coordination of the criminal justice system’s agencies (police, courts, Department of Probation and Aftercare and Detention and Correctional Systems/Services) under the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ, established under Section 34 of the Judicial Service Act (No. 1 of 2011) as a high level GoK State and Non-State multi-stakeholder forum coordinated and chaired by the Chief Justice). The project sought to support these agencies at a coordination level through NCAJ via indirect lobbying for inclusion in existing programmes, with support from the LRF which has a long-standing collaboration with the council.

Establishment and support of Court Users Committees (CUCs) in 3 target counties

A Court Users Committee is a forum that brings together actors in the administration of justice as well as users of the justice system to address problems within the sector, addressing all agencies and stakeholders concerned. CUCs also serve to promote accountability and improvement of performance by courts and all actors in the justice chain.

Streamlining case management and establishment of counselling, rehabilitation and reintegration sections for HRDs’ provision of related services in 20 detention facilities

Provision of paralegal support and psychosocial support, aftercare and socioeconomic empowerment of reintegrated offenders

  •  Legal and Human Rights Awareness Sessions (Paralegal Clinics)
  •  Paralegal services implementation
  •  Provision of counselling to inmates and probationers
  •  Provision of tools to ex-inmates and probationers
  •  Reintegration of inmates and probationers

Provision of equipment and improvement of infrastructure in 7 correctional facilities

Seven correctional facilities have been earmarked for infrastructural improvements, selected through a consultative process led by the Kenya Prison Service and Department of Probation and Aftercare Services.

Awareness campaign within the 20 correctional facilities through Participatory Educational Theatre (PET)

RESULT 2: Early Warning and Reporting Mechanisms EWRM have been established and supported for preventing and monitoring cases of human rights violations within correction facilitation.

The project has been supporting the establishment of an effective inter-agency Early Warning System (EWS) and Human Rights Desks in all 47 Kenyan counties. They will be effective tools for the HRDs to document, report and prevent violation of human rights by national security organs, detention facilities and prisons in Kenya. The project promoted an environment which is conducive to the maintenance of prisoners’ rights.


Carrying out multiagency workshops on Early Warning at national and institutional levels and reporting mechanisms at national and institutional levels

Establishment and support of an EWRM committee forum in 20 detention facilities

  •  Strengthening Human Rights Desks
  •  Operational mechanism of the EWRM committees in correctional facilities
  •  Launch of Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool for KPS based on the Mandela Rules (UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners)

RESULT 3: The Legal Framework has been improved by promoting a national policy on EWRM, a National Plan against Human Rights Violations and strengthening the reforms of the national security organs in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Constitution.


Provision of advocacy and lobbying for the ratification of a new policy on EWRM

Publication of a National Guidelines Manual on EWRM best practices and of a national plan of projects

  • Drafting and validation of Initial Reports by stakeholders
    The National Guidelines Manual on EWRM and best practices was drafted by the project management unit, project partners and Dr. Steve Ouma, with the support of Silvia Randazzo (IJJO Consultant) during quarter three of the project. A qualitative research at national level on human rights violations in correctional facilities was conducted and a publication drafted by the IJJO consultant in the course of the second phase of the project
  • Publication and dissemination of human rights research findings (through the IJJO)

Public events and parades at national level

  • Celebration of Inaugural Justice Prisoners’ Day held on 10th August 2015 (First celebration in Kenya and Africa)
  • Celebration of International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2015
  • Celebration of 2nd International Prisoners’ Justice Day held on 10th August 2016 at Meru Main Prison


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