The interaction of crime victims with probation services: The case of three selected probation stations in Nairobi Kenya
The criminal justice system is a web of interactions where victims and offenders of crime are very critical persons in the in the world. Most studies in criminology have concentrated on offenders and less on victims of crime who bear the greatest burden. The focus of the study was on “The Interaction of Victims of Crime with the Probation Services”: A case study of Nairobi, Kenya, whose principle objectives were to establish- stakeholder understanding on victimology and the victim, Victims participation in the passing of Probation Sentence, probation sentence reparativeness or appropriateness and, victims’ rights and concerns entrenchment in the probation sentences. Review of related literature indicated that Classical Scholars in Victimology and Criminology held that victims of crime were neglected and had concerns with criminal justice system. The study used qualitative and quantitative methodology, cluster, purposive and convenient sampling in the selection of respondents. Key informants guide and the questionnaire were the main instruments of data collection, then, data was coded, cleaned and subjected to SPSS software for analysis and presentation which aided interpretation of data while ensuring ethical considerations. The study had the following findings- That most respondents (victims, offenders and Key informants) had a fair understanding of the subject of victim and victimization in criminal justice system close to the professional meaning attached to Victims in criminology, however, some judicial officers had a definition which seemed to be different from that provided by criminologists. Most stakeholders (Judicial officers, Prison officers, Police Officer and Probation Officers) involved victims in the passing of probation sentence and related programmes in their core mandates, except prison officers who did not involve victims at all in the management and rehabilitation of inmates. Probation sentence was rated to be reparative as offenders were reconciled with victims through probation officers. Victims had concerns and needs as there were legal and policy gaps to entrench their rights in criminal justice system . The available legislation was inadequate and was not fully enforced. The study recommends that awareness and sensitization to promote understanding of the concept of victimization be undertaken, victims of crime to be fully involved in the passing of probation sentence, foster mechanisms of alternative dispute resolution and prioritize victim concerns in criminal justice with initiation of victim support programmes.