Strengthening the Administration of Justice and Operationalizing Alternatives to Imprisonment in Kenya (PLEAD) 


PROJECT DURATION : December 2017 - July 2022     







This project is one component of the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD), a partnership involving the Government of Kenya, European Union, United Nations and civil society that seeks to improve the delivery of justice services and use of alternatives to imprisonment. 

PLEAD is anchored in Kenya's Vision 2030 strategy and supports government reforms aimed at transforming the criminal justice sector for the benefit of all citizens.



The project's general objective is to strengthen the effective delivery of justice and to promote alternatives to imprisonment in the Kenyan criminal justice system in accordance with Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice.

Specific targets by 2022 include achieving a 50 per cent reduction in the backlog of criminal cases and reducing the number of pre-trial detainees by 30 per cent to combat prison overcrowding.

The UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa is supporting five criminal justice institutions: National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ); the Judiciary; Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP); Probation and Aftercare Service (PACS); and the Witness Protection Agency (WPA).


There are three expected project outcomes which frame the different activities, noting that the positive impact of PLEAD is already being felt:

1. Strengthened court administration and case management.  Expected outputs include:

  • Mechanism for improved administration of justice developed and operationalised - for example Sentencing Guidelines reviewed and implemented, Pro-Se Litigants Manual designed and implemented, and training for judicial staff on court registry processes also delivered;
  • Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) policy and mechanisms developed and operationalized.


2. Increased quality and efficiency in select criminal justice institutions (ODPP, PACS, WPA). Expected outputs include:

  • Strengthened organisational and professional capacity within ODPP to deliver quality and efficiency in criminal prosecutions;
  • Sector-wide Plea Bargaining Guidelines and a Diversion Policy and Guidelines developed and operationalised - including formal training and public sensitization;
  • Case Management System for ODPP designed and operationalized;
  • Capacity of WPA to fulfil its mandate enhanced;
  • Technical capacity of PACS to manage and supervise alternative sanctions enhanced;
  • Operational capacity of PACS enhanced along with the institution's visibility;
  • Re-integration of released offenders by PACS improved - for example a National Policy on Reintegration of Offenders developed.


3. Improved coherence and cooperation within the justice sector. Expected outputs include:

  • The capacity of NCAJ to carry out its statutory mandate is enhanced;
  • National Strategy and Action Plan to Reduce Prison Overcrowding developed;
  • Coordination capacity of Court Users' Committees at the local level within focal counties is strengthened;
  • Visibility of the project and of the various partners, including the EU, is increased in line with EU visibility guidelines;
  • Monitoring, evaluation of PLEAD implementation undertaken.


The project is located in Kenya with a focus on seven marginalised counties (Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River, Marsabit, Isiolo and Garissa) and five urban counties (Kisumu, Nairobi, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru) where stakeholders of the PLEAD partnership are located.  

UNODC as the custodian of United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice holds a mandate to support Member States in building fair and effective criminal justice systems and developing crime prevention programmes; therefore, UNODC is the actor which  implements the project. Moreover, based on the extensive expertise in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice reform and comparative advantage based on its unique and structured mandate, UNODC ROEA and HQ will bring to the PLEAD partnership as a whole and the participating national institutions, in accordance with their identified and agreed immediate and long term needs, the following key advisory services: UNODC will ensure that relevant UN Agencies/Organizations including UNDP (and any other interested agencies) contribute their respective skills and expertise in order to safeguard implementation of gender and human rights, including child rights and marginalized groups.      



Periodical UNODC updates on PLEAD are available here



UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa

Charity Kagwi 

Project Coordinator

Tel: +254 20 7623739



Maria Temesvari

Project Coordinator

Tel: +254 20 7623739