Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on Wednesday ordered the resumption of family visitations in all prisons and correctional facilities countrywide.

When he paid a visit to the Naivasha Maximum Prison, he said the move will allow inmates to spend time with their loved ones on days set aside by the correctional facilities.

This comes three years after the State Department for Correctional Services suspended prison visitations in 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to prevent a further spread of the virus.

“Now that COVID-19 is over, I don’t see any reason to deny you [inmates] an opportunity to interact with your families.”

“We are going to resume the family reunions and family visitation meetings and events in all our facilities including Naivasha Maximum Security Prison for both male and female inmates,” he said.

Further, the Interior CS said the government intends to invoke the Power of Mercy in its quest to reduce the prison population to decongest the prisons and other correctional facilities.

On the petition of any person, the Power of Mercy Act of 2011 allows the President to exercise it per the advice of the Advisory Committee to grant a free or conditional pardon to a person convicted of an offence, postponing the carrying out of a punishment, either for a specified or indefinite period, substituting a less severe form of punishment or remitting all or part of a punishment.

“I will speak to the Attorney General so that the plan of Power of Mercy helps to decongest our prisons,” he added.

Moreover, he said that his ministry will aim to cut the prison population by 50 percent.