By Gabe Joselow
At a women’s prison in Nairobi, Kenyan inmates are taking the law into their own hands. Law classes have helped inmates launch their own appeals and defend themselves in court.
In a classroom behind bars, three inmates and a prison officer learn the basics of the common law.
Inmate Rose Musyoki said these classes have given her the chance of a lifetime.
“It has been my childhood dream to do law, but due to some unavoidable circumstances like lack of finance, I’ve not been able to do it,” said Musyoki. “So when this chance came in I gave it a trial, and now I’m in it, I’m doing it.”
And already, she’s put her lessons into practice, successfully helping another inmate to appeal a sentence for kidnapping by arguing that the accused was under duress at the time.
“When she went there, the prosecution had nothing against her. They never even said anything, when she raised just that defense, the prosecution was asked, ‘Do you have anything against her?’ He said, ‘No, your honor.’ That was a big achievement,” said Musyoki.