Nine juveniles committed to probation services by the Ruiru law courts in Kiambu County are celebrating their open day in style, courtesy of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The 3 boys and 6 girls have enrolled in an art competition in which the have been supplied with materials which include writing drawing paper and different colors of pens which they are using to practicing their artistic skills.
The probationers were enrolled early in August 2020 and were scheduled to return their scripts at the end of the month but they were given more time therefore giving them ample time to perfect on their scripts.
They were given an opportunity to draw, paint or do mosaic. Out of the 3 areas, they were supposed to choose one or two areas which they enjoyed working in most in a competition which has attracted juveniles on probation from 47 counties.
A tour by KNA on Friday September 4th, found them busy drawing while seated at the Ruiru law court since proceedings were not in session.
In line with the Ministry of Health protocols of social distancing, the probationers occupied the area used by the court generously and were busy drawing as they consulted the Ruiru probation officers Ms Diram Abduba and Mr. Jude Ouma.
The two officers keenly guided them individually as they progressed on their specific scripts which will be presented to the National headquarters amongst other scripts from other sub-counties.
The duo also taught them on basic ideas of colour mixing so that they could be able to continue with their scripts when they return to their respective homes.
Prior to the drawing, the probationers participated in cleaning the judicial facility and other offices adjacent the court.
On their part, the adult probationers trimmed the flowers and slashed the compound of the new facility which was inaugurated by the chief Justice Mr. David Maraga in 2018.
The opening of the court was meant to ease the backlog of cases at Kiambu and Thika law courts and also minimize the time and fuel spend to ferry the remandees to the 2 courts.
The head of Ruiru law courts is Ms. Clarence Otieno and is assisted by Senior Resident Magistrate J.A.Agonda and C.K.Kisiangani .The launch of the court has tremendously eased work for officers as they no longer have to traverse to Thika and Kiambu, therefore bringing services closer to the people.
During normal open days, prisoners placed on probation are hosted at the probation office boardrooms where they share their experiences, challenges and suggest areas that can be improved on their rehabilitation and reintegration journey.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supports the judicial system in Kenya through provision of materials to support probationers and construction materials of courts.
Through financial assistance from UNODC prisoners currently imprisoned at the Kamiti Maximum are currently constructing a court within Kamiti maximum prison. The court which is at 90 per cent to completion will only host people accused of drugs and terrorism.
A tour by KNA at the facility over the weekend confirmed the tremendous work being done by the prisoners who are almost completing their jail terms after their cases were reviewed by the high court.
Another important aspect with the courts is the witness protection box where accused persons will not be able to see the faces of those testifying against them owing to the seriousness of their cases.
By Lydia Shiloya