The Daily Nation recently ran an interesting article about pre-trial detention in Kenya. Some key facts:
- Fully 52% of people in Kenyan prisons are in pre-trial detention. Only 48% have actually been sentenced. (Note that the percentages are incorrect in the infographic above.)
- The average length of stay in pre-trial detention is one year. Some people have waited up to eight years without a hearing.
- 90% of people in pre-trial detention are there because they were granted bail but couldn’t afford it. Bail amounts range from Ksh 500 / US$5 to Ksh 10 million / US$100,000.
- Many people in pre-trial detention have had their cases mentioned numerous times in court, but no decisions were taken because the complainants or witnesses didn’t show up, and the defendant was then returned to jail to await a new court date. It’s not clear to me why default judgements would not be entered in cases where complainants don’t show up to court.