Challenges That Confront Offenders During Reentry Into Kenyan Communities

Evans Makori Oruta


Over the last several years, the issue of prisoner reentry has dominated the corrections literature, which should not be surprising considering the volume of ex-inmates who are returning to our communities each year. As a direct result of this nation’s increased reliance on imprisonment as a response to criminal behavior, there are record numbers of individuals serving time in correctional facilities. Inmates face many challenges as they attempt to transition from the institution to the community. Securing suitable housing, finding employment, and addressing substance abuse and mental health problems present formidable obstacles to offenders as they attempt to reconnect with society.  At the same time, there is strong evidence to suggest that inmates are leaving confinement less prepared to face life in the community. As Petersilia (2001) noted, fewer programs, and a lack of incentives for inmates to participate in them, mean that fewer inmates leave prison having participated in programs to address work, education, and substance use deficiencies. One undeniable consequence of the imprisonment binge has been the release of record numbers of inmates, who have served longer sentences and are less prepared to face life in society. While these facts are in themselves concerning, prisoner reentry takes on a new level of significance when one considers the impact these returning inmates will have on their communities. As Travis et al. (2001) report, “nearly two-thirds of released prisoners are expected to be rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of their release,” which “translate[s] into thousands of new victimizations each year.” While public safety concerns are paramount, the consequences of prisoner reentry are not limited to fears of re-offending. Given evidence from available research studies, the impact of prisoner reentry has far reaching consequences, a fact which has not escaped the attention of either policymakers or academics. Over the last several years, this issue has received considerable attention. At the same time, this issue has become the focal point for many researchers, which has both increased our awareness of the consequences of this phenomenon, as well as guided policy makers in the development of new programs. It is upon this backdrop that this study sought to investigate the challenges facing prisoners as they return to the community after serving their sentences. A sample of 146 respondents comprising male and female recidivists at Kakamega and Shikusa Prisons in western Kenya were considered for the study. Research objective and hypothesis were formulated based on the study constructs. A standard questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents who were identified using purposive sampling technique. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected and analyzed. Statistically quantitative data was analyzed using inferential statistics. Study findings revealed that that offenders face challenges during reentry and the time spent in prison was a statistically significant predictor of the reentry experience of offenders.

Keywords: Prisoner, re-entry, community

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN 2409-6938

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©