True reformation comes by changing the thinking of inmates
Formerly Athi river prison, the new G.K Prison Kitengela is the third correctional facility to host the inauguration of the Mind Education and Mahanaim Theology programs. Serving the larger Kajiado County, G.K Prison Kitengela is home to 600 inmates.
On 26th January 2018, 150 inmates participated in the official launch of the program that will see 100 inmates participate in theology and mind education courses respectively.
Speaking during the launching ceremony, officer In-Charge (OIC) G.K Prison Kitengela Billy P. Koshal applauded the program and expressed his confidence that it will help reform the clients holistically.
The concept of reform in many correction services globally have always focused on incarceration and community service as a form of punishment for offenders. However research has shown that there needs be a third option to rehabilitating and reforming offenders and re-offenders.
The introduction of Mind Education and Mahanaim Theology programs in Kenya’s correction centers adds a rare opportunity to social sciences for a chance to prove that changing the mindset of offenders is a key reform strategy and a major component of reducing recidivism in the country. Director of Mind Education, Dr. Kim Jong Duk while addressing the clients, referred to the case of Galileo Galilei an Italian polymath. Galileo is a central figure in the transition from natural philosophy to modern science. Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, instead, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves around the sun.
Dr. Kim’s message to the inmates was that those who truly desire to change must embrace a different mindset. At the end of his lecture inmates participating in the launching ceremony could not hide their joy of realizing the true forgiveness of sin as they confessed openly that they were no longer sinners.
The culmination of the event saw talks of establishing a half way home for offenders who have completed their sentences to assist smooth re-entry and prepare them for integration. This project will be established through a partnership between Kenya Prison Service (KPS) and International Youth fellowship (IYF) in Kitengela, with land for the same being donated by the prison itself.
The Program is now officially running in three main prisons in Kenya, namely, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Lang’ata Women Maximum Security Prison and Kitengela which is the latest to launch officially. The partnership between IYF and KPS envisions establishing similar programs and centers in all 119 prison centers countrywide by the end of the year.