Kamiti maximum prison in Nairobi. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)
Kenya will now have 12 maximum security prisons after a Government move to upgrade seven more penitentiaries to this category.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery gazetted the facilities that will be upgraded last Friday as the country seeks to increase spaces to hold hardcore criminals and segregation of terror and piracy offenders.
It means Nairobi and Kisumu will have three maximum security jails, Naivasha and Mombasa will have two each while Nyeri will host one.
Currently, the five maximum security correctional centres are Nairobi’s Kamiti, Shimo La Tewa in Mombasa, Manyani in Taita Taveta, Naivasha in Nakuru and Kodiaga in Kisumu.
In Kisumu, Kibos and Kisumu main prison and Nyeri main prison have been upgraded to the status of maximum security prisons.
Industrial Area Remand and Allocation Prison in Nairobi too has been elevated according to the gazette notice dated Friday March 17, 2017.
This means the facility will be converted into a fully-fledged prison from the current status where it only holds remand prisoners or those who are yet to be allocated to various prisons.
New security challenges facing the country such as piracy and terrorism mean Kenya has to hold high-risk suspects knowing accomplices may attack and attempt to rescue the suspects or convicts. Also to be held in these facilities are capital offenders, including murderers, drug peddlers and robbery convicts.