AGE AND GENDER INFLUENCE ONINMATE PERCEPTION OF PRISON REFORMS: A CASE OF ELDORET GK PRISON IN RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE OF KENYA

Abstract

In the 18th century, prisons were, in the words of Henry Fielding, “sewers of idleness”. Prisons were farmed out to private persons whose object was simply to make a profit. Women were thrown in the same common ward as men; first offenders with hardened recidivists; inoffensive civil debtors with muggers… ten year old boys with homosexual rapists (Hughes,1987). The need for a gender-sensitive approach to female prisoners has been underlined by penal reform experts in countries worldwide. For example, a national survey conducted in the United States during 1993 and 1994 pointed to the need of a different style ofmanagement for women prisoners (Morash et al., 2006). To this end, it is worth establishing whether in one way or another, aspects of inmates’ age and gender have any influence on how they perceive prison reforms.This study is therefore set to investigate theinfluence of inmates’ age and gender on their perception of prison reforms. The study was undertaken in Eldoret GK Prison in Uasin Gishu County of Kenya. Survey and causal comparative designs were adopted in this study as quantitative research methods. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 310 participants for the study. Data was collected by use of biographical form and questionnaires and analyzed by both descriptive and inferential statistics by use of SPSS. The study found that the female inmates had a more positive perception of prison reforms than the male inmates. However, the age of inmates had no significant relationship with their perception of prison reforms. Finally, the study recommends that urgent measures be taken to help reduce the reported congestion in the male prisons. This will help improve the overall perception of the male inmates on the prison reforms

Keywords: Age, Gender, Influence, Inmates, Perception, Prison Reforms


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 23-27 (Download PDF)

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