More women serving robbery with violence jail terms than men, says report

More women serving robbery with violence jail terms than men, says report

A majority of Kenyans serving robbery with violence prison sentences are women, a new report states.

The report by the National Council on Administrative Justice and other stakeholders released today says more women are in prison for robbery with violence contrary to popular belief that men are common perpetrators of the crime.

“Surprisingly more women are in prison for robbery with violence and property compared to men,” Executive director of Legal Resource Foundation Janet Munywoki who presented the key findings of the report said.

The report also found out that more women at 49 percent are charged with criminal offences as compared to men at 32 percent.

Overall, it found the whole criminal justice system largely skewed against the poor with 70 percent of poor people found to have been arrested and charged in court compared to only 30 percent of rich people.

Most of those arrested and charged were illiterate with majority reaching only class three. They committed minor offences like loitering around, lack of business permit and driving while drunk.

The report also found out that the conditions at the prisons are not conducive for detainees as most of the facilities are in a dilapidated state.

“A lot of institutions don’t meet the U.N. standards of holding inmates as the conditions are not favarable for special interests groups like people with disability and women,” Munywoki said.

“On the police cells we visited, women and children are held on the hallways while men are incarcerated inside the cells. This is contrary to U.N. requirements,” she said.

The audit was premised on the need to provide exhaustive overview of human rights standards in the criminal justice system measured against the United Nations standard minimum rules on treatment of prisoners.

The survey was conducted in May 2015 across 18 counties with 26 police stations sampled.

The report also found out that 68 per cent percent of people are detained in police stations beyond the required time of 72 hours.

Over 45 percent of people are arrested over the weekend with offences such as drunk driving, loitering and causing disturbances.

Chief Justice David Maraga who was present during the release of the findings at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi said he will form a committee to fully implement and address the concerns raised in the report.

“I want to assure you that this report will fully be implemented and I will form a committee to oversee its implementation,” Maraga said.

The CJ added that anyone who come across the report will not fail to be moved by the sad state of affairs in the criminal justice system in the country.

Attorney General Githu Muigai said the report will help the judiciary and his office to improve on the justice system in the country.

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