Rehabilitation of Delinquent Adolescents in Kenya: Challenges and Implications for Counseling
Gachara, Esther G.
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The problem of delinquency in adolescence is a worldwide social phenomenon. Of most concern is the impact of delinquency on the adolescence, their families, and the society at large, and the relationship between delinquency and adult crime. It has been argued that delinquency leads to adult crime and therefore a life long career. There is need therefore to deal with adolescence delinquency to curb the trend of adolescents maturing to adulthood with criminal behaviors. The government of Kenya has established rehabilitation schools with the aim of correcting and, reforming the delinquent adolescents into adjusted productive citizens. The rehabilitation schools have programs designed to meet this objective. This paper aimed at assessing the factors related to the effectiveness of rehabilitation schools with particular attention to parents' involvement and adolescents perception towards rehabilitation schools and recommend measures that can increase their effectiveness. This is against the backdrop of the vital role played by the-family in acquisition of delinquent behaviors and perception of the rehabilitation schools. The study was done using a descriptive survey with the target population being the children, staff members of the rehabilitation schools in Nairobi and Kiambu. Stratified random sampling was applied to get samples of the sub-groups in the population. The research instruments were questionnaires and interview schedules while data collection procedures were structured interviews and observations. The data was analyzed using both manual and computer-programs and presented using descriptive statistics inform of frequencies and percentages distribution. The study found that the adolescents had inadequate perception about the rehabilitation schools and process. Proper orientation process was also not in place. Parents were found to be minimally involved, that is only in the provision of basic needs to their children. Various recommendations were suggested which included proper orientation-that include the adolescents and staff members, and opportunities to be availed for the-parents to be involved in the-rehabilitation process which could include family therapy restorative conference. The study also recommended that this study be done in other rehabilitation schools outside Nairobi and Kiambu to help in making general conclusion for the whole nation for intervention measures to be taken.