A report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons, showed that in 2010/2011, the proportion of black and Ethnic minority children in prison rose to 39 per cent from 33 per cent in the previous year. This crimes include burglary, gang crimes, car theft, violence among other petty to serious crimes.
The present news that has come to UKENTV too suggests that the number of young Kenyans in prison is also on the high. What is causing our young children to offend? Many boys than girls are caught in this web, and unless a campaign of children support is coordinated by the community, many will get lost in the system of offending and reoffending.
It is easier to blame the system, to point fingers at racism and red tape, blame the education system or even peer
pressure. Yes, it’s easier to point fingers at others rather than ourselves. Yet, when the children go to jail, there behind is a torn out family, whose life in the land of plenty has been turned ugly.
What has gone wrong?
Family Breakdown: There is a disintegration of many family units. The rate of divorces within the Kenyan community in UK has gone up. If divorce is inevitable, it’s important for parents to take great effort to council, monitor and challenge the behavior of the youngster together and to share responsibilities of guidance and wellbeing of the child.
Economic hardship means that many parents are working overtime, and when at home, are so preoccupied with daily chores that their absence is affecting the wellbeing of the children. All children are mischievous (remember the mischief you got to while growing up) but certain age groups have coordinated gang like activities, which has high risk, and even though done for fun, could results to criminal records.
Some Kenyans too spend all their money on projects for investment (which is a great idea), but not to the expense of the welfare of the children. They will not need inheritance more than they will need their life skills and education. Many of us are able to hassle here because of the life skills we learnt from our homes. Take time to guide and council, and if need be find a professional.
This is just a glimpse of the problem. Its much more complicated. Remember that many are deported after the prison sentence. I would love to see a brainstorm, suggestions and words of hope to families affected. Remember that it could happen to anybody, from pastors to ministers. This is a community problem, how in your opinion can we reverse the trend?