Types of Prisons in Kenya [plus updated list of prisons in Kenya]

You will learn about the types of prisons in Kenya in this article..

Now, the criminal justice system has a big list of prisons in Kenya.

Of these, there are prisons for the most notorious convicts as well as correctional facilities for those who might be caught with less serious offenses.

Don’t forget that prisons hold different types of prisoners according to risk.

Let us now look at the structure, types, and various prisons operating in Kenya.

Types of Prisons in Kenya

Now, in case you have committed a crime in Kenya, you are likely to land in one of the following prison types:

Maximum security prisons

Maximum prisons in Kenya are reserved for the most dangerous criminals such as killers and drug lords.

They are of course the worst prisons in Kenya (based on the living conditions and available facilities) so it’s a terrible place to be and you don’t want to land there.

Medium security prisons

After the maximum security prisons, we have medium security prisons.

These house prisoners that are entitled to lower restrictions- they are barred from free movement even within the prison’s boundaries, prisons get slightly harsh treatment compared to maximum security facilities.

Here you will find wrongdoers such as burglars, fraudsters, and most petty thieves.

Low or Open custody prisons

These are meant for prisoners who are not a huge threat to the public.

Their key feature is that prisoners are allowed freedom of movement but within the prison boundaries.

Juvenile Remand centers

These are not really prions and are actually under the childrens department (Ministry of labour & social protection).

They house offenders who are minors (below 18 years) temporarily once they have been charged in court.

With the structure of Kenya prisons plus their types out of the way, let us head straight to the list of each prison type in various parts of the country.


Prisons in Kenya – distribution across the country

The following is a comprehensive list of all the prisons running in Kenya categorized under each type:

Maximum security prisons in Kenya

These include:

  • Kamiti Maximum Prison – Nairobi
  • Nairobi Remand and Allocation Maximum Security Prison
  • Kibos Maximum Security Prison – Nyanza
  • Naivasha Maximum Security Prison – Rift valley
  • Shimo la Tewa Maximum Security Prison – Coast
  • Manyani Maximum Security Prison – Coast
  • Langata Women Maximum Security Prison – Nairobi
  • Nyeri Maximum Security Prison – Central
  • Kisumu Maximum Security Prison – Nyanza

Medium Security plus Remand Prisons in Kenya


  • Nairobi West Prison
  • Kamiti Medium Prison
  • Nairobi Short Sentence Prison


  • Shimo La Tewa Women Prison
  • Shimo La Tewa Medium Prison
  • Kwale Prison
  • Hola Prison
  • Voi Remand Prison
  • Kingorani Prison
  • Taveta Prison
  • Kilifi Prison
  • Malindi Prison
  • Wundanyi Prison
  • Hindi Prison


  • Nyeri Women Prison
  • Thika Main Prison
  • Nyeri Medium Prison
  • Thompson Falls Prison
  • Kerugoya Prison
  • Kiambu Prison
  • Mwea Prison
  • Thika Women Prison
  • Ruiru Prison


  • Kisumu Women Prison
  • Kisii Women Prison
  • Kisumu Medium Prison
  • Migori Prison
  • Homa Bay Prison
  • Kisii Main Prison
  • Nyamira Prison
  • Kibos Medium Prison

Rift Valley

  • Nakuru Main Prison
  • Eldoret Women Prison
  • Kitale Main Prison
  • Naivasha Medium Prison
  • Nakuru Women Prison
  • Eldoret Main Prison
  • Kitale Medium Prison
  • Kitale Women Prison
  • Kapsabet Prison
  • Lodwar Prison
  • Kericho Medium Prison
  • Athi River Prison
  • Rumuruti Prison
  • Nanyuki Prison
  • Kabarnet Prison
  • Tambach Prison
  • Kitale Annex Prison
  • Ngeria Prison
  • Kapenguria Prison
  • Kericho Main Prison
  • Kericho Women Prison
  • Maralal Prison
  • Kajiado Prison
  • Narok Prison
  • Eldama Ravine Prison


  • Kakamega Main Prison
  • Bungoma Prison
  • Busia Prison
  • Vihiga Prison
  • Kakamega Women Prison
  • Shikusa Prisons
  • Shikusa Borstal Prison


  • Embu Women Prison
  • Machakos Women Prison
  • Kitui Prison
  • Isiolo Prison
  • Embu Main Prison
  • Machakos Main Prison
  • Meru Women Prison
  • Meru Main Prison
  • Uruku Prison
  • Marsabit Prison
  • Makueni Prison
  • Kangeta Prison
  • Moyale Prison

North Eastern

  • Garrissa Medium Prison
  • Wajir Prison
  • Garissa Main Prison
  • Mandera Prison

Wrapping it up

So, there you have the various types of prisons in Kenya and their distribution across the country.

But before we go, it’s good to mention that some prisons hold female prisoners in Kenya only – and you have noticed that (for example, Langa’ta women’s maximum security prison).

Also remember there was a time Kenya was planning to privatize prions but it has not happened yet so there are no private prisons in Kenya at the moment.



Juvenile Remand Homes in Kenya [Updated list]

Best Rehabilitation Centres in Kenya 


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