In Kenya, we worked on a pioneering project to explore a gender-sensitive approach to non-custodial sentences.
Working with the Kenya Probation and Aftercare Service, we amended pre-sentence reports of women to better reflect their daily realities and backgrounds. This helped to improve non-custodial sanctions for women in a context often designed for men. Probation officers received training on how to use these adapted tools and implement a gender-sensitive approach in their work.
‘Before, I thought an offender is an offender, and it doesn’t matter if they are male or female. My thinking was there is no excuse for committing a crime. But after I have gotten a change of perception. Now I take a little more time to dig deeper and find out more and what really caused them to offend.’
Probation officer, Kenya
Read our evaluation for this project
The emotional, social and economic consequences of imprisonment experienced by women are acute and enduring and extend to their families – and particularly to their children. Non-custodial sanctions offer the potential to avoid imprisonment, but they have been almost exclusively created for men, and the differing needs and experience of women have largely been overlooked.
PRI led a pioneering project in Kenya that explored ways of adopting a gender-sensitive approach to non-custodial sentences, such as community service and probation orders. As part of this project, PRI worked with the Kenya Probation and Aftercare Service to amend pre-sentence reports – produced by probation officers to inform magistrates of the background of an offender and recommend sentencing options such as community sanctions – so that they better reflect women’s realities and backgrounds. Probation officers received training on using the adapted tools and implementing a gender-sensitive approach to their work.