Female inmates at the Embu GK Prison marked the end of 2017 in style when they held their maiden family day where they mingled freely with their relatives and other people.
Majority of the inmates used the opportunity to urge family members and the society to forgive them and help them go back to their normal lives upon release.
Ms Caroline Kuthii Karanja, who is serving a 13-year jail sentence for fraudulently obtaining Sh6.6 million said she was ready to face the person she defrauded and make peace.
She said prison had transformed her and that she is keen to go back to the society where she served as a coffee marketer.
The mother of three hailed the open day saying it had helped change the face of prison.
“At times we fail to see our relatives and this is the first time that we have had a chance to mingle with our loved ones. It is also a good time to ask for forgiveness from our families and the ones we wronged and thank God for a chance to apologise,” said Ms Kuthii.
The 36-year-old said she has gained numerous skills such as embroidery, cooking and making of detergents and other products, which would enable her earn an honest living.
“I have not met the person I defrauded but I encourage them to visit me and resolve the matter. I would like to have a chance to ask for forgiveness. I have already reformed and accepted Jesus as my personal saviour,” said Ms Kuthii.
Ms Winfred Wanyaga said she was optimistic of a warm reception once she is released from prison in four months’ time.
Perhaps the most popular inmate, the 23-year-old has been holding the Miss Embu Prison title for the last three years since she was arrested for killing her boyfriend.
“I have now changed and urge those outside there to forgive me. I urge the community to receive me well. I am no longer the person you used to know,” she said.
Ms Jacinta Wangui, who is in her 60’s, however, was not as lucky since none of her relatives turned up for the event as no one was aware of her incarceration.
“When I was sentenced, I had not thought about it. I just pleaded guilty because I was not in the right frame of mind. I had been taken to court for eight times for selling illicit brew and the witnesses didn’t show up,” she said.
The head of the prison’s women wing Sarah Mulatya said they had organised the ceremony to help the society to see the reforms taking place in correctional facilities.
“The family day will help them forgive each other and help reintegrate them (prisoners) back to the society. We appeal to the community to give former inmates jobs when they go back because they have a lot of skills,” she said.
A similar event had been held at the male wing just before Christmas.