Prison overcrowding is a serious problem in East Africa. The occupancy rate of prisons in Tanzania is over 145 percent and in Kenya and Uganda it is over 200 percent. The congestion is caused in large part by the excessive use of pre-trial detention: approximately half of those detained at any one time are awaiting justice. Congestion is also caused by the imposition of short terms of imprisonment. A significant number of people, most of whom are living in poverty, are sentenced to prison for a few weeks or even days for offences such as using abusive language, operating a small business without a valid licence, the possession of illicit ‘liquor’ or simple theft.
Click on the attachments below to read PRI’s research and recommendations on the use of alternatives to imprisonment in East Africa.
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