Prisoner - Pioneer - Graduate
Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, Kenya
George has spent almost 20 years behind bars. Arrested in 2002, he was sentenced to death in 2006. This was commuted to a life sentence in 2009. In 2018 he graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Law degee [LLB], with support from our Changemaker programme.
Together with Peter Ouko, George and others started an ad-hoc paralegal centre. He and some of the other inmates interviewed half the then population of 4000 inmates. Of those they interviewed, they found that most inmates had no understanding of their rights, the details of their charge, or what that means for their case and potential sentence, or the appeal process. Many were illiterate and had no idea how to write an appeal, even if someone was able to explain the process.
George has seen Kamiti Prison change from somewhere with no educational facilities, where inmates were studying in the cell blocks at night, to where it is now, with 300 inmates attending school every day. And George is undoubtedly one of the pioneers.
That being said, it is clear that George has hope for the future. Whilst slow, he highlights relevant political change and progress happening in Kenya. “At my age, studying law was a challenge to push harder. I have realised that learning is a continuous process, it is never too late to learn.”