Prior to our 2008 JusticeMakers competition, Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation published an article about one of our competition winners, Kenyan Magistrate Joy Masinde. The article, titled “She’s-Got-It Brenda Masinde”, provides terrific insight into Joy’s life prior to becoming a JusticeMaker, and what has inspired and motivated her to pursue a career in law. It also gives us a glimpse of Joy’s vibrant and colorful personality – for example, it recalls how on St. Valentine’s Day she would don a red suit to court instead of her drab magistrate’s robes. Click here to read the full text of the article.
In 2008 Joy became director of the established nonprofit, Christian Legal Education, Aid and Research (CLEAR) in Kenya. CLEAR provides free legal services to prisoners awaiting trial who are unable to pay for it themselves. It also equips them with legal education specific to their case that that they are aware of their rights and enabled to become active participants in their defence.
As a 2008 JusticeMakers fellow, Joy has received US$5,000 to fund the newest branch of CLEAR-Kenya in Kisumu. The Kisumu office will provide legal aid and education to inmates in four prisons in the area, the idea being that with the correct education and training, they will be able to represent themselves at mentions and bail hearings. This will reduce the time prisoners spend on remand awaiting trail, which currently averages at 3 to 5 years. In addition, to funding will go to training paralegals to support the efforts of CLEAR’s probono lawyers who take on the most compelling cases.
To read Joy’s project proposal in its entirety, please click here.