The Role of restorative justice in the social integration of offenders in Kenya
The criminal justice system in Kenya enforces punishment as the primary means of dealing with an offence.1 Punishment is more often than not effected through incarceration.2 This means that the offender is incarcerated, which isolates the offender from the outside world. The majority of the offenders who are incarcerated will eventually be released and will have to return to the community. Reintegration becomes significant to facilitate the re-entry of the offender into the community.3 Successful reintegration requires a system of justice that is cognizant of the needs and roles of the stakeholders once a crime is committed.4 This will promote healing and reconciliation for all the stakeholders and will encourage receptivity of the offender back into the community once released. In order to guarantee this, restorative justice should be foundational to the social reintegration of offenders. Through restorative justice, offenders accept responsibility for their offending behavior, make reparations to the victim and the community and this in turn guarantees a successful reintegration.5 This paper assesses the role that restorative justice has to play in the social reintegration of offenders.