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An Assessment Of The Challenges Of Children In Prison With Their Mothers: A Case Of Langata Women Maximum Prison 

Jane Kositany Cheruiyot, (PhD – Candidate), Daystar University, Kenya


Children growing up in prison with imprisoned mothers are faced with many challenges. The Kenyan laws allow toddlers to stay with their incarcerated mothers in prison up to the age of four. Definitely, the children who live in prison are not criminals and as such should not be subjected to any treatment and environment that reduces their human basic natural rights. It is against this backdrop that this paper assessed the challenges of children in prison with their mothers in Lang’ata Women’s Maximum Prison. Specifically, the paper assessed the social, psychological and educational challenges. The paper was intended to influence the justice system in the best interest of the child. The study used a naturalistic design which was purely qualitative in nature to collected data. The researcher purposively sampled only women with their children in the prison. The data collected was analysed using content analysis to generate qualitative report which was presented in a continuous prose and verbatim citations. The social development challenges were mostly observed. The study found out that prisoners were subjected to severe overcrowding, insufficient food supply, mothers had to share their portion with the children, poor sanitary conditions, inadequate water supply and bedding. Police and prison guards subjected prisoners to torture and inhuman treatment such as handcuffing, punishing and shouting at the mothers in front of the children causes psychological trauma to the children. It further found that there are no enough learning materials at the centre. In conclusion, whatever is done in all actions considering children, whether undertaken by private or public social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the child shall be a main consideration. Both the society and the government should operationalize this fact.

Key words: social, psychological, educational, spiritual, challenges, children.



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