Prison decongestion

(Mary Oyier) #1

I thought i should share. This is not only in my Country Kenya but worldwide. Our prisons are full of mistaken prisoners. Many by default ,ignorance and lack of many aspects. A boy was jailed for a year last October 2017 or a fine which he could not raise. His mistake was an army material like shirt. His parents were not able to bribe the police officers and court was inevitable. We managed to release him via prison decongestion program. Through the probation office of course after they also carried out a study. We have also secured an outside jail term for a minor aged 13years. Why am I saying all these. Prison is a home of criminals. The real gangsters, hitmen and thieves. Once we mix the petty offenders charged with cases like obstruction, identity, brawl etc they are prone to come out hostile and with new experience or mindset. Can we separate. And how. I interviewed some prisoners who are not even sure of renewal acceptance by own families on completion of Jail term or parole. What off now blending.

(Tobias Eigen) #2

Thanks, Mary! This is a valid and important issue everywhere in the world. My own country USA has a real problem with throwing people into prison who do not belong there, permanently altering the course of their lives. It’s heart breaking.

When I first started working at Namati, I was very inspired by a 30 minute TV show about a prison paralegal program in Kenya led by Kituo cha Sheria. Fellow member @AimeeOngeso is interviewed. If you are able to watch the video, I highly recommend it - if not, there is a transcript available.

Kenya’s Prison Paralegals at the Frontline of Justice

Australia’s ABC News has captured the groundbreaking work of network member Kituo cha Sheria in the prison system in Kenya. The program, Foreign Correspondent, shows prisoner paralegals working to bring justice for those wrongly imprisoned – often without trial.

Kituo’s Aimee Ongeso told the film-makers: “It is very challenging to go into areas that are seen as do not touch by the rest of the community, but when you come to a group of people who are ready to be empowered, who take up the knowledge with a thirst that you’ve never seen before and are actually implementing the knowledge that you give them, it’s fulfilling. When you’re a human being, you’re a human being irrespective of whether you’re a prisoner or not. So access to justice is a long journey, it is difficult but there is hope”.

Watch the program on ABC News Australia.

You can also check out a publication in the resource library about a prison paralegal program in Pakistan:

(Mary Oyier) #4

Thank you for this. I will find time @tobiaseigen

(Olayemi Akinwunmi) #6

I am so very happy with the issue at hand, in Nigeria, my organization has began enlightenment programs, in schools, churches,mosques, televisions and radio stations, telling people the implications of our actions or inaction. the results is overwhelming, there is enormous ignorance of the basic knowledge of the law which we need to deal with if we really need result. we have also open our branch office in the US, we intend to partner with relevant paralegal organizations especially in New Jersey. We must all join hands together to bring peace to the world.

(Paul Thomas) #7

Good work I’m inspired

(Tobias Eigen) #8

Thanks for the response, Pablo. Good to see you here. Let us know how this topic inspires you, and what it inspires you to do!

How does prison congestion feature in Trinidad and Tobago?

(Paul Thomas) #9

It helps to know that the interest of innocent people being persecuted is being looked after in my country when you take that kind of stand they will try to kill you even the magistrate supports them

(Mary Oyier) #10

That is more Serious than our situation then @Pablo

(Tobias Eigen) #11

Thanks @Pablo for sharing. That is a stark picture you are painting. Can you link us to some news articles or other publication so we can learn more? What is being done about it?

(Tyrone McRae) #12

Wow. This forum is truly inspiring. Believe it or not, I was imprisoned for 30 serve 20 years at a bench trial when I just turned 21. It was an illegal search and seizure for someone else and I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Ironically, I have 3 paralegal degrees today. I still suffer from being being locked down for 23 hours a day in maximum security and isolation, for 3 years. The grand jury was crying because my public defender had abandoned me as I told the the judge that I was aware that the public defender was trying to get me to waive my indictment. There was no evidence linking me to any wrongdoing and I was the wrong person. I am so proud of you all for what you are doing. My job ended so I have some time to collaborate.

(Mary Oyier) #13

Pole for that. It’s a bad experience By sharing you heal faster .I believe you will make a great representation for other victims. Though you didn’t say which Country @TyroneMcRae

(Tyrone McRae) #14

Thank you, @mariahoyier, that’s what I intended when I enrolled for paralegal studies initially until I found out that we had to work under traditional lawyers. It was all about self help and helping others. It’s almost impossible to get a foot in the door. Once I learned about eDiscovery my passion returned but then waned after I found out that the same scenario applied. I keep researching and it led me here which why I am so impressed. That horror ocurred in the state of Georgia but I am from Trenton, New Jersey in the United States of America. These services are in desperate need throughout the communities here. People are trying to represent themselves in court because they dont trust traditional attorneys and get slaughtered for doing so. Even me with my education. This is occurring in every field of law. I wish there was something I could do about it. What you all are doing is unheard of here. I don’t see anything like of this published on linkedin where I have networked with hundreds of attorneys and paralegals; nor any other social media.

I get emailed hundreds of jobs a day and applied for years without response so I just stopped and pursued entrepreneurial activities. It’s really unbelievable the more I keep reading these posts.

(Mary Oyier) #15

You are Great inspiration too. The saying goes sealed lips is sealed destiny. Silence is a world challenge that we need to overcome. Sorry once more for your bad experience. @TyroneMcRae

(Paul Thomas) #16

I’ve got a lot to deal with at the moment and I still need some help and support please try to understand the message for now and if there is something you don’t understand let me know and i’ll respond

(Tobias Eigen) #17

Thanks, @Pablo! Take care of yourself and feel free to respond to tell more of your story whenever the spirit moves you.

You can always send me a message directly or write to if you need help with something private.

(Vincent Otieno) #18

Thank you Mary for sharing this, Kenyan legal system especially the criminal justice system needs a total transformation.

(Mary Oyier) #19

Let’s join hands if you are here in Kenya @vincentotieno Thanks

(Vincent Otieno) #20

Thanks am actually here in Kenya and working in the community to create legal awareness.

(Natamba Joanita) #21

It is true members, I am Joan from Uganda, our prisons are filled with prisoners most of who are innocent and others lack or are ignorant of legal representation. 80% of the prisoners are incapable of accessing legal representation. worse of it all is the long court process that keeps these people in prison before their cases are handled for the particular prisoner is either set free or sentenced. my organization has embarked on creating prison awareness sessions through prison visits. Through this, the prisoners are enlightened on their rights to bail and how to apply for it, right to legal representation, we still have a lot of work to do in seeing that our people do not rot in prisons.

(Mary Oyier) #22

Congratulations @natjo I pray for you it’s not easy but you have to soldier on. Breakthrough is at The corner.

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