Influence of socio - economic factors on recidivism among Kenyan prisoners: the case of Nakuru main prison
The main objective of this study was to investigate the socio - economic factors that influence recidivism among Kenyan prisoners in Nakuru main prison. Recidivism directly affects the Kenyan society both socially and economically. In social aspects, the family ties and bonds are disrupted when a person is jailed, economically because insecurity affects investment besides being a burden to our economy. The study was guided by the following objectives,: To assess the influence of demographic characteristics on recidivism among Kenyan prisoners To establish the influence of stigmatization on recidivism among Kenyan prisoners, To determine the influence of homelessness on recidivism among Kenyan prisoners, To examine the influence of imprisonment experience on recidivism among Kenyan prisoners, To ascertain the influence of rehabilitation programs on recidivism among Kenyan prisoners. The research questions were then derived from the above objectives and are: How do demographic characteristics influence recidivism among Kenyan prisoners How does stigmatization influence recidivism among Kenyan prisoners, How does homelessness influence recidivism among Kenyan prisoners, How do imprisonment experiences influence recidivism among Kenyan prisoners, , How do rehabilitation programs influence recidivism among Kenyan prisoners. The population of interest for this study comprised of prisoners of Nakuru main prison in Nakuru town. According to inmates lockup figures (report); Nakuru main prison (March 12, 2014), the prison has a total population of 2,046 of prisoners which became the target for this study The research involved the collection of data from respondents/clients by use of a questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of both open and closed ended questions. The responses were coded by assigning a numerical value to each to make them quantitative that made it possible for the data to be analysed, and in cleaning up the data averages like mean and median as well as distributions like standard deviations were performed on the data sets in order to discover any anomalies and appropriate corrections. The first question anticipated data on influence of demographic characteristics on recidivism and the information gathered revealed that younger inmates were more likely to engage in crime leading to recidivism as opposed to older inmates. The second question anticipated data on influence of stigmatization on recidivism and the information gathered revealed that attitudes of people in the society to those who have been imprisoned fuels reoffending. The study also found that imprisonment experience and homelessness is also a catalyst to reoffending. It also found that better rehabilitation programmes reduces reoffending. This study recommends that the prisons department needs to Prioritize the rehabilitation programmes and come up with a very effective programme that can change recidivism, engage stakeholders such as the experts and the community in what best can be done to ex convicts to prevent them from going back to crime, restructure their systems of exposure to recidivist such as labour as a corrective measure since the study has proved it not to be working, develop follow up programmes for the released inmates. This research provides promise for crime control strategies targeted at reducing recidivistic behaviors’, Identifying recidivists and understanding the correlates of high volume offending, and evaluating programs designed to reduce crime.