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Equipment boosts operations of Kenyan criminal justice agencies

18 November 2022, Nairobi – Vital equipment provided by UNODC and the European Union to key criminal justice institutions in Kenya is resulting in major improvements in the delivery of justice. 

Thousands of much-needed office items and equipment have been delivered to five key institutions since 2019: the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ); the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP); the Judiciary; Probation and Aftercare Service (PACS); and the Witness Protection Agency (WPA). 

This includes more than 600 laptops, 240 printer/scanners, 30 video conferencing facilities, 670 Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS) units and 30 mobile Wi-Fi modems as well as vocational training supplies for use at PACS probation hostels, such as sewing machines, hairdressing supplies and an industrial oven. 

This unprecedented support is through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD), a major partnership delivered by UNODC and funded by the EU to improve the delivery of justice and the use of alternatives to imprisonment across the country.

“We did not have a good printer and I was forced to travel to town to seek assistance. Most of the reports were confidential and this would make me uncomfortable carrying them out of the office to print elsewhere,” the Head of the PACS Office in Lamu, Mr. Marcalius Ndome explained.  “After we were given printing equipment, laptops and desktops through PLEAD, our work was made easier. We’re now able to serve the people of Lamu even faster,” he said.

Makadara Law Courts is among many court stations that are benefitting from new laptops, production scanners, printers, desktops, customer care smart TV screens and an “office-in-a-box” containing assorted supplies.

“This court, and the people it serves, have benefited from this equipment. This has made our operations more effective in serving the Mwananchi,” the Makadara Law Courts Chief Magistrate, Hon. Francis Kyambia, said.   

“Virtual mentions, pleas and hearings have led to reduced cost of transport of inmates to courts, reduced security risks, and made access to justice easier. With the automation of the Judiciary services, PLEAD assistance was the best thing ever,” he added. 

The Court Administrator at Makadara Law Courts, Mr. Francis Otieno, CPA, added that scanning and photocopying machines have played a significant role in preparation of proceedings, pleas, and orders.  “Court documents can now be scanned and kept safe, solving the problem of missing files which used to lead to delay or loss of vital information,” Mr. Otieno said. 

PLEAD has expanded the use of information communication technology in the justice sector, in turn enhancing case management, inter-agency coordination and improving the efficiency in the administration of justice in Kenya. 

“The delivery of equipment to the least equipped stations, especially those in the marginalised counties, has ensured that the needs of our partners are addressed in real-time and that no-one is left behind – the core premise of the UN’s Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework,” Ms. Charity Kagwi-Ndung’u, Regional Head of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at UNODC  in Eastern Africa, said. 

This is especially true in Garissa, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River and Wajir. 

“The staff at the court, including those at the customer care desk, are equipped with laptops and desktops and, as a result, the court processes have been made easier and better,” said the Isiolo Law Courts Chief Magistrate, Hon. Lucy Mutai.

The provision of equipment through the PLEAD partnership is ongoing. In November 2022, UNODC is supplying voice distortion equipment for twenty-one witness protection boxes currently being installed at court stations across Kenya as part of tailored support for the WPA. 

The 2018 UNODC Baseline Study for PLEAD revealed major equipment gaps that were hampering criminal justice system institutions to effectively undertake their roles and responsibilities. Our work continues to fill these gaps. 


More information

Charity Kagwi-Ndungu, Head, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, UNODC Eastern Africa,

UNODC web story 8 February, 2022: Justice Chain Actors Collaborate in an Effort Towards Accelerating Automation of Criminal Cases in Kenya

UNODC web story, 5 July 2021: UNODC strengthens efficacy in the administration of justice in lamu county

UNODC web story 16 July 2021: Equipment handover ceremony on the occasion of international nelson mandela day; to digitalize the justice sector

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