Wambugu N. Beth, Kinyua Joice, Kanyiri Joyce
Abstract: Current research and practical experience have yielded evidence regarding best practices in transitional services. Transition, from a correctional education perspective, is a process that promotes the successful passage of a juvenile offender from the community to a correctional facility and back again. As the trend toward confining greater numbers of juveniles in corrections facilities continues, increasing attention is being paid to transitional services and to what happens when the juveniles are released back into the community. Literature in Kenya show that transitional services were non-existence and that a government task force dubbed the Kochung report had more than a decade ago recommended strengthening of the exit strategies and transitional services for children exiting juvenile rehabilitation programs. This study sought to establish the current transitional services available to juvenile offenders in Kenya. Phenomenology research design was used where focus group discussions and interviews were used to collect data. Forty-six respondents participated in the study, they included forty children in their last year of rehabilitation, three childrens officers, and three managers. Research in Kenya indicates weak transitional services and lack of follow-up services. The current study established that children undergoing rehabilitation had good future aspirations. However, the current exit strategies could not facilitate their aspirations. The study recommended strengthening of exit strategies through facilitation of proactive life trajectories of exitees. The study also recommended a tracer study to determine rates of success versus recidivism.
Keywords: Transitional Services, Exitee, Juvenile Rehabilitation