Kenya prisoners want more than 1 US cent a week

Written by on March 29, 2019

In Kenya, lawyers acting on behalf of prison inmates have gone to court to get prisoner pay rates reviewed. They were last set in 1979.

The prisoners are pushing for an increase on the 1 US cent a week they are currently earning.

Only prisoners who demonstrate exemplary conduct qualify for the pay.

The prisoners are employed making furniture and other goods which are then sold for the benefit of the prison service.

Their accumulated earnings are given to them on their release.

In court papers, the commissioner-general of prisons defends the current rate of pay, pointing out that the prisoners are not engaged in a form of employment where remuneration is expected to be fair.

He denies the prisoners are effectively being used as slave-labour.

The commissioner also argues that the objective of prison labour is solely to train convicted prisoners with relevant skills and knowledge to enable them to reintegrate well into society upon release.

Magistrates were due to rule on Friday but have instead said they will issue a written judgement. No date has been set for the judgement.

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