The Problem

RECIDIVISM

(n):  a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behaviour; especially:  relapse into criminal behaviour.

The Kenya Prisons Service has its origins in the colonial area where its main role was to incarcerate and punish Africans as a means of pacifying them.  While there was a form of industry and training built into the system it did not have rehabilitation at the centre. This in effect creates ‘hardened’ criminals who quickly fall back into crime again upon release.  Understanding and tackling recidivism is key towards having successful rehabilitation and achieving peaceful neighbourhoods as a product this. Many reasons and factors have been put forward as causes of criminal behaviour and recidivism with social, psychological and economic factors dominating. Majority of inmates have not had equal access to education, exposure and opportunities. This in turn sets them to be at the bottom of the pyramid of life. The economic gap grows wider and the cycle of crime continues. The interesting thing is that none of the reasons are unique to criminals hence our firm belief that they can be addressed. There is also the unspoken reality that crime has a ‘reward’ of sorts else no one would get into it. Many go back to crime for this reward which can be both social, due to societal stigma and financial when released.