Prison Reformation

Values-based Innovations Transform a Nation’s Prison System

In September 2017, after vetting 19 applicant organizations, Kenya’s Ministry of Corrections selected Principle Based Leadership as their partner to provide rehabilitation, training, and development services for 55,000 inmates, 18,000 employees of Prison Services in all of their 109 men’s prisons.

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons”                       -Fyodor Dostoevsky

Overcrowded, and a single wooden becket for refuse

There are five common circumstances Kenyan inmates have in common:

1) Grabbed from the Street – up to 40% of men who are arrested are known to be innocent by the police. When the arresting officers come to the guilty party’s home, he is given an opportunity to pay a bribe to be released. The officers will then seize any random man that they see, and incarcerate them in the place of the guilty man.
2) RemandStuck in “No-mans-land” – For many developing nations, up to 40% of all inmates are being held in “Remand” status for
long periods of time after arrest. Often due to overloaded court cases and a lack of innovation, a vacuum of injustice leaves an arrested citizen without legal representation or formal charges for long periods of time. It is not uncommon for a man to endure this loss of freedom for 3 to 6 years without hope or recourse. Since COVID-19, great strides have been made in Kenya due to installing ZOOM plea bargaining systems being put into place. Today, reduced staff, frequent power shortages, and unreliable Wi-Fi keep large Remand populations stuck–often not even knowing the crime they are being charged with.
3) Hothouse “Wards” – Overcrowded and poorly fed inmates are often subject to unbearable health and emotional stressors. Inhumane sanitation and overcrowding impact both the guards and prisoners, turning the loss of freedom into one of dehumanizing deprivation which ignites hatred and violence. Disease and death are common. Those who survive suffer PTSD due to abuse by guards and other inmates–and the loss of hope often turns to despair.
4) Terrorist Cells – Radical Islam is insidious in many Sub-Saharan nations. It s reported that a trained terrorist will get himself arrested as a “prison plant” for the sole purpose of seeding hopeless and enraged men with vindictive hatred for the government that so mistreats them. These small Muslim groups can become radicalized with the intent to plan and act out their hatred by attacking their own citizens.
5) The Revolving Door of Recidivism – Most Kenyan communities remain “Tribal” even if they go to church. Superstition claims that the poor and ex-cons are both cursed by God and mandated shunning and exile become additive to the punishment for a crime. Western Colonials brought in beating and incarceration instead. However, in 85% of rural East Africa, when an inmate was released with his prisoner number tattooed on his wrist for all to see, he was immediately rejected by his family, church, and community. On some occasions, the ex-con was hanged by victims of past crimes because of the tribal practice of vendetta. without resources and a twice-broken heart, he chooses to return to prison.


The Breaking of Racism and the Sanctuary Church – Church ministers and prison chaplains are both trained in Theology, but they have always hated each other. Now many have completed our Smallholder Farmer Men’s Leadership Program (SFMLP). One day in the Spring of 2020, a small gathering of both leaders forsook their biases, and joined hearts in prayer to imagined working together with PBL on ne way of ex-con rehabilitation by making seamless handoffs into specially trained local churches that were led by our church leader graduates They called them “Sanctuary Churches.” Prison Officials made Administrative changes were made so that 60 days prior to release, inmates’ files were shared with receiving churches to provide a prepared, soft landing where their wives and children could be reunited with their dads, fed, and marriages healed and counseled. Today, several hundred ex-cons are practicing Farms for Life Program and beginning to thrive.

“Almost all inmates have been freed from the bane of their father-wound–and thus freed from repeating the fatherless cycle with their children.” –Rev. Wycliffe Mudavadi, Board Member and Treasurer

Ex-con Samuel (ctr) remarried his wife and kids and now has a new home and farm because of PBL’s Sanctuary Church and FFL Programs

Inmates do not have their basic needs met. Each of the 30 prisons we serve have no budget for:

– Toilet paper

– Bar Soap

– Towels

– Toothbrush

– Toothpaste

– Fresh Fruit

US Donors provided Kakamega Prison with fruit, toilet paper, and soap for bathing




Contact us at for any questions OR if you’d like to help these men and their families, please give here.