Influence of Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Juvenile Recidivists on Their Reoffending

Sebastian Okello Wang’ombe


The Government of Kenya introduced rehabilitation institutions to deal with rehabilitation of child offenders and prevent them from recidivating. While statistics indicate juvenile crime and recidivism to be on the increase, studies on the phenomenon of recidivism among juveniles in correctional institutions in Kenya are scanty. The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of socio-demographic characteristics on recidivism among juveniles in rehabilitation institutions in Kiambu and Kirinyaga counties of Kenya. The objectives of the study were to establish the influence of Juvenile recidivist’s socio-demographic characteristics on their recidivism. The study was based on Robert Merton’s 1938 strain theory. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population for the study was 333 juvenile recidivists and 60 correctional staff in Wamumu and Kirigiti rehabilitation schools in Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties of Kenya respectively. The data for the study was collected by use of questionnaires, Focused Group Discussion, in-depth interview schedules and document analysis and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found negative peer influence and level of education reached to be the child offender’s social and demographic characteristics respectively that had the highest influence on recidivism among child offenders in Kiambu and Kirinyaga counties of Kenya. The study recommended change in design of juvenile rehabilitation programmes to take into consideration juvenile’s socio-demographic characteristics and; needs and risks facing him. This is combination of both institutional and community based intervention and supervision that tap into youth potential and steer them away from crime.

Keywords: Socio-Demographic, Characteristics, Juvenile, Reoffending

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/9-6-01

Publication date:June 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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