Influence of education on the perception of crime and justice by inmates with hearing impairments in Nairobi County Jails, Kenya
Maithya, Pius Mutia
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People with Hearing Impairments (H.I), just like those with no impairments, commit crimes and once they do, the law is applied on them regardless of their hearing status. The study investigated the influence of education on the perception of crime and justice by the inmates with H.I in Nairobi County jails. It looked at the crimes commonly committed by the inmates with H.I, their reasons and rationalizations for committing crimes, actions they perceived to be criminal, their perceptions of justice in the due process of law, educational attainment of the inmates with H.I, relationship between level of education and the perceptions of crime, and lastly, the relationship between level of education and the perceptions of justice. Out of the total prison population of 9,972 in all Nairobi Jails at the time of this study, only 12 had H.I, and these constituted the study population. Descriptive survey design was utilized to conduct the study at Kamiti Maximum Security and Industrial Area Remand and Allocation Prisons. Pilot study was conducted at the Industrial Area Prison for Short Sentences. Content related validity was used to assess the concept the instrument tried to measure and determine the representative accuracy; while test - retest technique of assessing reliability by use of Pearson's Product - Moment Correlation Coefficient was used. A correlation coefficient of 0.75 was obtained. A Census enquiry was used and a written structured interview schedules were self-administered by the researcher using anual communication technique. Data collected were organized; coded and analyzed using Micro-soft Excel and then interpretations were done. Respondents were assured of information anonymity. The study established that majority of inmates with H.I in Nairobi jails were aged between 20 to 25 years (40%) and were imprisoned for sentences below 5 years (40%). Majority had primary level education (30%) and primary education plus vocational training (30%). Very few had attained secondary school level education (20%). Sexual assault constituted 30% of the crimes committed together with theft (30%). Selling illegal drugs accounted for 20% of committals. Reason for sexual assault was given as lack of co-operation by crime victims. Those who committed robbery cited lack of money to buy essential items needed for their daily trade, while others cited the desire to make quick money as reason for committing crime. It was established that the inmates with H.I who committed crimes were fully aware that their actions were criminal and would attract possible punishments. However, majority of them had no idea about the due process rights and procedures in the pursuit of justice. Those with higher formal education had better understanding of the due process rights and procedures. Education did not have any influence on one's involvement in criminal activities. However, it influenced one's perception of justice. The study recommended that there should a stakeholder campaign in the education for children with H.I to ensure higher transition rates from primary to secondary schools. Affirmative action is needed in form one in-take and college admission for children with H.I. Courts of law should always ensure proper language accommodation whenever there is a client with H.I. The schools should include issues to do with the law and human rights in the curriculum.