Factors of Recidivism among Reintegrated Inmates in Kenya

Evans M. Oruta, Willem Luyt


Statistics throughout the globe suggest that most prisoners coming out of prison are likely to be re-sentenced within three years of their release. Research continue to find that almost 80 percent of prisoners are likely to be rearrested within a decade of being free. Rearrests around the world may occur within the first year of release if no support is given to the offender. High recurrence rates mean more violence, more victims, and more criminal justice system stress. Recidivism is a technical term which, when loosely understood, bypasses the major problem it faces, the problem of continuity of criminal behaviour. Recidivism remains a concern for Kenyan authorities. In this article we examine the influence of offender characteristics, offender reintegration, and community perceptions and attitudes regarding recidivism in Kakamega County, Kenya. The study applied a survey research design. The study adopted a survey research design in which 384 recidivists were sampled to take part in the study as respondents. Besides the recidivist, 25 Prison Officers,13 Probation Officers, 27 family members of recidivists, and 18 community members from the neighbourhoods of recidivists bringing the target sample to 467 respondents. Both probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling techniques were used in sample selection. Data from respondents was collected using a questionnaire that was tested for validity and reliability prior to the actual data collection. Factor analysis was used to ascertain validity while Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient of reliability was used to ascertain reliability of the questionnaireFindings reveal a statistically significant relationship between offender characteristics and recidivism, while offender reintegration and community perceptions and attitudes towards offenders are found to greatly influence recidivism. From the study, it is recommended that correctional officers use the actuarial risk assessment model to predict the future probability of recidivism. It is recommended that the various correctional stakeholders develop an integrated approach that specifically targets successful re-entry of offenders upon release, while programmes must be developed to target community awareness to desist from stigmatising ex-offenders.

Keywords: Recidivism; Kenya prisons; reintegrated inmates; Kakamega County; offender characteristics; community awareness; actuarial risk assessment model

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/118-14

Publication date: February 28th 2022

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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