Since 1994, RODI has been supporting ex-offenders in their community reintegration and Aftercare with support from Tudor Trust GLS Future Foundation for Development and Bread for the World. The process involves follow up of trained prisoners upon release and working with them and their home communities to provide technical backstopping during the reintegration and after-care process.
A majority of convicted prisoners have at least one prior conviction, either as a juvenile or an adult, this therefore calls for a comprehensive crime prevention and community development programs to include effective measures to prevent and stop the cycle of recidivism.
Prisoners confined in correctional institutions are confronted by a range of social, economic and personal challenges that tend to become obstacles for effective reintegration and community acceptance.
Ex-prisoners are confronted by a range of social, economic and personal challenges upon release from prison. This challenges tend to become obstacles for effective reintegration and community acceptance and may hinder their ability to become law-abiding citizens. There are also several practical challenges that are faced by offenders at the time of their release, including
- Lack of basic needs such as food, clothing and even transport to their homes
- Rejection by immediate family members, friends and the community thus finding it hard to get suitable accommodation at time of release
- Lack of self-support in form of employment income, lack of savings etc.
- Difficulty in accessing a range of everyday necessities and amenities.
Over the last 20 years of partnership with Kenya Prisons Service, we have supported reintegration of more than 1,500 ex-offenders in Kenya and other neighbouring countries. However, this forms only 20% of those RODI has trained. About 80% of trained prisoners are not followed up due to limited resources (human, Materials and financial).
As part of reintegration, ex-prisoners are encouraged to practice and pass on the skills learned to the community; they are also followed up to monitor their performance. To speed up their acceptance and to address poverty at community level, ex-prisoners are encouraged to form Community Livelihood Improvement Groups (CLIGs); to date we have more than 50 CLIGs formed around ex-prisoners.
The reintegration support also include additional training in areas of agro-ecology; agro processing and value addition as well as provide material support to enable ex-prisoners to initiate income generating activities in farming and other enterprises. The ex-prisoners will be encouraged to pass on the skills to other members of the community and be encouraged and supported to form community groups. 75% of the ex-prisoners fall between the ages 18 to 35 years, In addition, the initiative targets to enhance the capacity of ex-prisoners to become community trainers within the counties to support community training in sustainable agriculture, value addition and agro processing
The follow up intervention has contributed to a significant reduction of re-offending among ex-prisoners whereby only 4-5% have re-offended as compared the national average re-offending rate of 47%. This is a great contribution to the country’s effort of rehabilitation and reintegration.