Factors influencing the implementation of new approaches in the rehabilitation of prisoners in Garissa medium prison, Kenya
Eringo, Pasquale K
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The prison correctional goal in Kenya has recently changed the straightforward punishment of prisoners to rehabilitation. Currently, emphasis is being placed on programs. These changes have consequently begun to change the prison officers' role from a purely custodial role to a human service role. In this case officers are expected to manage rehabilitation treatment programs. Despite these changes, no studies have examined the training, resource needs and attitudes of prison officers for prisoner rehabilitation in order to lay a foundation for prisoner rehabilitation and reforms. This study sought to establish the factors influencing the implementation of the new approaches in the rehabilitation of prisoners. It was guided by five objectives that focused on influence on initial on the job training on rehabilitation of the prisoners, the availability of the resources, the preparedness of the prison officers, the prison officers as the agent of change and appropriate measures that can be put in place to improve implementation of new approaches in the rehabilitation of prisoners. The study adapted a descriptive survey and the target population included all the prison officers at Garissa medium prison as well as all the prisoners. Using Krejcie and Morgan (1970) table 40 prison officers were sampled and 120 prisoners were also sampled. The study revealed that there are more male prisoners than the female prisoners, an implication that more men are involved in crime. The same is replicated by prison officers where there are more male officers than female officers. The study also revealed that most prisoners serve a short jail term of below 12 month. This is in line with Garissa medium prison which was established to deal with prisoners who have committed petty crimes. On the area of training of the officers, the study revealed that there are very essential courses offered during training and when in service, however, some officers do not take such courses hence making them have less skill of managing prisoners. In the same token most of prisoners have secondary education as the highest level of education hence making it difficult to interpret policies geared towards prison reforms. The respondent's were also in agreement that prison officers are agent of prison reform. Based on the findings, the study recommended that recruitment of officers be based on merit, physical facilities be availed, more staff be employed, the ministry of home affairs formulate clear policies on reforms, curriculum be enriched and accommodate more psychology courses, build more penal institutions for decongestion purpose and establish good housing for the officers. Finally the study suggested a comparative study of the Kenya training program with that of other countries that are rehabilitation oriented also the study ought to be carried on the impact of guidance and canceling on prisoner's rehabilitation. This would fill the gap left by this study.