Analysis of the factors leading to recidivism among juvenile delinquents: A case study of Naguru Remand Home in Nakawa Division, Kampala District
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This study was conducted at Naguru Remand Home Center in Nakawa Division, Kampala District with the aim of establishing factors that are responsible for serial offending among juveniles. It looked at factors that are responsible for reoffending among juveniles and what can be done to curb down high rates of juvenile recidivism. The sample size of the study was sixty-four (64) respondents of which sixty (60) were primary respondents (juveniles) and four (4) key informants. Key informants included; clinician and probation officer at, Naguru Remand Home Center probation Nakawa Division and the Principle Probation and Social Welfare Officer in-charge of Alternative Care Unit at the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development The study was based on both quantitative and qualitative measurements. Data was collected by the use of questionnaires, a sample size of 60 people from a population of 136 juveniles was used and this was selected using Purposive non-probability sampling technique. Data was analyzed using SPSS and the results were presented in terms of frequencies and percentages using tables and graphs. The findings showed that peer influence and family background are the major attributes of high reoffending rates among juveniles. This is evidenced by the percentages that these two variables occupy. As per this study, 41.7 per cent of the respondents who committed crimes perceived their families as dysfunctional; this is whereby parents have divorced, or one of the partners died or any other form of non-functionality pertaining to the family. Peer influence accounted for 30.0 percent while drug abuse accounted for 16.7 percent and other factors constituted 11.7 percent of the population. This proves family background to be the major reason for juvenile recidivism as per the findings of study carried out at NRHC. Also, the study found out that boys are more likely to re-offend than their female counterparts. The two categories as per this study accounted for 87.8 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. The study also found out that incidence of recidivism among juveniles increases every other time. On average, the center receives 800-1000 juveniles annually of which 60 percent are the serial offenders. . However, on a quarterly basis, the center receives about 250 juveniles and of which 45 percent are repetitive offenders”. This shows the severity of the situation. Important to note also, as per this study, the measures that have been put in place to respond to juvenile recidivism included; counseling and guidance, spiritual support, life skills which include; gardening, carpentry, and other skills as part of rehabilitation. xiii The key conclusion as far as this study was concerned is that most of the juveniles are the victims of circumstances and that their involvement in crime is basically for survival. This implies that if the factors responsible for this condition are not dealt with, the juveniles are bound to start from where they started from. Given the interconnectedness of the attributes of juvenile recidivism, one factor cannot be explained in isolation of the other. Therefore, a multiple of measures can be adapted and they include; Supervision and attendance centers, School attendance and vocational skill training, Gang desistance, Community service work. The major recommendation is that the government of Uganda with other stakeholders should embark on comprehensive rehabilitation of these juveniles as well as putting in place mechanisms through which these juveniles will derive satisfaction from. This is because most of these juveniles are idle and poor will results into eventual commission of crimes. I believe, if the two areas as presented above are holistically tackled, then this problem can be scaled down.