- Classes of prisons in Kenya include:
- Principal institutions, which make up the highest level of prisons. They include Kamiti in Kiambu, King‟ong‟o in Nyeri and Naivasha Maximum Security prison in Naivasha.
- District 1 and 2 Prisons. These are found in various districts. They hold offenders who have committed various crimes except capital offences.
- Detention camps. These were created under the Detention Camps Act. They hold either vagrants or rural emigrants convicted of minor offences. Two major detention camps are: Nairobi Detention camp and the Mombasa Detention camp.
- Youth Institutions. These cater for offenders between 15-21 years of age. They are of two types: Borstal Institutions and Youth Corrective Training Centres.
- Extramural Penal Employment. This caters for petty offenders as a Community-based approach of treating offenders who reside in their own homes but who report to the authorities to undertake communal government activities such as building access-roads, reforestation or working on prison farms without pay. Such offenders do not mix with other criminals in prison, since they are not isolated from their homes.