The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Nairobi has been working with the Kenya Correctional Services (KCS) since 2015.
Having learnt from the challenges, lessons, and success of the Assessment Classification Project (ACP) and the Non-Custodial Measures (NCM), JCP was launched in November 2020 with an initial training and planning phase up to June 2022. The main objective of the project is to contribute to enhanced human rights perspectives in efforts for a coordinated, effective, and consultative approach in the administration of justice and reform of the justice system in Kenya. We asked a few questions to Jackie Mathenge, RWI Programme Officer in Kenya to find out more about the project.
What is the Justice Cooperation Project?
The Justice Cooperation Project (JCP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative piloted in Naivasha, Kenya, with the aim to enhance community safety in Naivasha and beyond thorough improved application and coordination of access to justice. It involves the Judiciary, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), National Police Service (NPS), Kenya Probation and Aftercare Service (PACS) and Kenya Prisons Service (KPS), National Council for the Administration of Justice, Power of Mercy Advisory Committee, and other Kenyan justice sector actors. JCP will serve as a model for implementing key elements of the National Correctional Services Policy.
What Impact is this project seeking to make?
This project seeks to ensure that all the key justice sector actors in Kenya complement, cooperate and coordinate each other in their work to ensure administration of justice.
The Kenya programme (2015 – 2020) made a good foundation on making an emphasis on the effective use of non – custodial measures which saw a major shift across the Kenya Correctional Service to improved and accountable human rights and evidence based decision making about individual prisoners and non – custodial offenders with reference to risk and need as well as an increase in compliance with relevant international human rights standards in particular the UN standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners as well as the establishment of the KPS Departmental Human Rights Committee (DHRC) that has ensured increased compliance in international human rights standards.
How will the project improve access to justice in Kenya?
According to the 5-year roadmap on implementation guideline of the project developed in the planning and training phase, JCP will be seeking to ensure the prioritized groups (Juveniles, women, persons with mental illness, other vulnerable groups e.g., the elderly, Petty Offenders and first offenders) Diversion, bail and bond, and non-custodial sentences will be prioritised and always considered, implementation of the diversion policy that will ensure coordination between ODPP, NPS and PACS, promotion of the avoidance of Pre- trial detention, classification of offenders before imprisonment, operationalization of parole, diversion and reintegration programmes and partnerships, sensitization of KPS and KPAS staff and coordination and communication system between the actors.
Regional Africa Programme. Focal Point: African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), East African Community (EAC)
Damaris has worked at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute since 2015 as the Kenya Programme Officer and is responsible for planning, implementation and follow-up of cooperation projects in Kenya so as to achieve expected results.
Rakel Larsen joined RWI in November 2020 as the Director of the Nairobi Office. She brings more than 15 years of work experience in refugee protection, displacement and human rights mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining the RWI, she worked for the Danish Refugee Council with humanitarian response and protection of refugees and other displaced persons in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.
Furthermore, she holds a Master’s in Law and a Master’s in African Studies (Human Rights and Development) from the University of Copenhagen.
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law- Nairobi with support and finance from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) have been working with the Kenya Correctional Services (KCS) since 2015 on a programme whose primary objective has been to enhance compliance with international human rights standards in the management of Kenya’s correctional system, including through supporting more human rights responsive and coordinated approaches to in the administration of justice in Kenya.