- “Some inmates have psychological problems and we have to handle them with a lot of care. As much as they are prisoners, they are also human beings,” he said.
There was drama at Kakamega GK Prison after an inmate threatened to commit suicide over food rationing. The hungry inmate climbed over the prison wall, threatening to jump over if he didn’t receive an extra plate of food.
Prison warders had a difficult time trying to calm the enraged inmate, who at some point started shouting and screaming. In protest, he also undressed.
Speaking to The Nairobian, Kakamega GK Prison police commander, Japheth Onchiri, said the inmate, who is serving time for murder and robbery with violence charges, climbed the 100-meter-high wall threatening to commit suicide if his demands were not met.
“We have more than 800 prisoners and all of them must be served with three meals per day. The said inmate wanted more food, which was not possible. I mean, if every inmate demands an extra plate of food, what will happen to us? We cannot afford extra costs. He is not special,” said Onchiri.
Onchiri added that they deal with inmates who have different personalities and they have learnt how to handle them.
“Some inmates have psychological problems and we have to handle them with a lot of care. As much as they are prisoners, they are also human beings,” he said.
Additionally, he said according to prison rules, for any prisoner to receive extra food, he or she must first get a doctor’s recommendation or letter permitting them especially if their health is of concern.
“All inmates are equal and are given the same quantity of food. Those who are ill and are under medical watch with a letter of approval, are the ones who can receive a special diet or more food,” he said.
He said some inmates use dubious ways to receive extra food and in such cases, they are either punished or put on probation.
“Disciplinary action must be taken because we are bringing up reformed people who are supposed to go back to the society and interact with people. We do not expect them to continue behaving the same way they came in,” said Onchiri.
After a few hours, the inmate stepped down and was taken back to his cell.