General introduction to the study
This chapter provides a general introduction to the study. It lays down the background to the roles of probation service in reducing recidivism in kenya, statement of the study, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, justification of the study, scope and limitations of the study, definition of significant terms and a summary of the chapter. Background of the study
The incidence of crime and deviance has generated plenty of debate from criminologists and the general public alike. Stories of recidivism appearing frequently in the media have cast a harsh light on the early release and poor supervision of criminal offenders in probation. Countries have put considerable measures to manage the upsurge of crime and provide protection to its citizens. The effectiveness of the roles of probation in reducing criminal recidivism in kenya has removed a controversial subject. Many experts and the public find little basis for confidence that supervision accomplishes much and a few would agree with Martinson’s(1976) classic assessment that probation is ‘a kind of a standing joke’ and his famous phrase of Nothing works in the criminal justice system. Over the years,many offenders who go through the rehabilitation programs in the probation are assumed to reoffend and become the terror of the society at large. In the contemporary society, many criminals find probation as a gate way from the tough fangs of the criminal law where afterall, they find themselves similar before conviction. In most cases, the blame is shouldered by the probation officersfor their failure to perform their roles in supervoising the offenders adequately. Most of offenders placed under probation are half baked to fully become law abiding citizens.
Statement of the problem
The menace of criminal recidivism among probationers has been a problem in many jurisdictions, kenya included. Alot of concerns and eyebrows have constantly been raised on the effectiveness of the correctional system in the country whether be it imprisonment or community corrections. The viscious cycle of reoffending has been a concern to many justice stakeholders in the country and worldwide. The effectiveness of probation of offenders has also been put in the spotlight as far as supervision of offenders is concerned. Embedded with the motto that offenders can change, the Kenyan probation service are guided by the following objectives, generation of information to courts and other penal instituition for the dispensation of justice;supervision and rehabilitation of offenders on community sentences;reintegration and resettlement of offenders on statutory penal licence and promotion of crime prevention activities. The reduction of recidivism among probationers is highly dependent on the level of supervision that is accorded to the offenders by the probation officers. Despite all the programs and efforts the government has made through the department, recidivism rates has escalated at a high rate all over the country. This study has critically examined the supervisory roles of the probation department in reducing recidivism in the country. This has created and distabilised social order and justice in the kenyan society and the world in general. The increased rates of recidivism is a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed in order to achieve socioeconomic development. This study is therefore an attempt to identify the predictivefactors to recidivism, the level of supervision; the challenges faced by the probation officers in supervising probationers; and provide a way forward in reducing recidivism among probationers.
1.4 Research Objectives
The overall objective of the study is to assess the supervisory role of probation in reducing recidivism among probationers. Specific objectives
1.The study has the following specific objectives: