Home About IJAC Articles Subscribe FAQs Contact Us


In Whose Best Interest? Tracking Reforms And Culture Changes In Criminalizing Women In Conflict With The Law In Kakamega, Kenya 

Rose Opiyo Atieno (PhD) Developmental Psychologists and Mental Health Specialist, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya


Escalating incarceration rates among women suggest an increasing number of children whose rights of parental care are grossly violated and needs deprived. Precisely, there is no data showing the exact numbers of children of imprisoned women in Kenya. However, by law, the Best Interests of the Child remains a primary consideration in all actions affecting children whose parents are in conflict with the law, at all stages of criminal justice and alternative care decision-making process. Children of women in some form of criminal justice control are at the highest scale of vulnerability yet, the least visible populations for policy makers, penal institutions, and international and local communities in Kenya. Very little is documented on the circumstances of imprisoned mothers’ children and their needs are largely ignored by penal institutions and prison regimes. This article delved into the situation of Children Accompanying their Mothers to Prison (CAMP) and those left under alternative care due to mothers’ incarceration. It attempted to provide a voice for this population whose feelings, opinions, and personal experiences are rarely explored, yet greatly affected by policies and procedures that were not designed with their needs in mind. Based on qualitative interviews with 48 women, the paper documented subtle nuances and parenting concerns of imprisoned mothers. Specifically, it looked into how their imprisonment has affected the life of their children and what has worked for them. The paper suggests policy recommendations, action plans and programs that can be considered to ensure that Kenya effectively implements Article 30 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

Key Words: Children, incarceration mothers.


See Full Article

Copyright © 2018 - 2022 Daystar University