Inadequacy of the Kenyan penal system: the study of retributive justice, and restorative justice as an alternative justice system
Wanjiku, Kaniaru Vanessa
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The main objective of this dissertation was to explore the possibility of restorative justice being applied as an alternative to retributive justice, seeing that the current Kenyan penal system seem to have failed. This was done by studying and understanding the theoretical and conceptual framework of retributive justice as well as the current structures in place, and this analyzing its successes and shortcomings. A comprehensive study on Restorative justice was also done, while looking into its theoretical and conceptual framework, the extent to which it has been applied in the Kenyan penal system so far and how it may be applied as an alternative justice system. The scope of the study was within Kenyan penal system, the institutions involved such as the prisons and correctional facilities as well as its stakeholders; the offenders and the victims as well as the prison officers-in-charge of the inmates. Other jurisdictions which have successfully implemented restorative justice were also looked into as a comparative study. The methods used for the research were desktop research as well as interviews of inmates and officers-in-charge in the prison systems. This dissertation established that indeed the Kenyan penal system seems crippled, owing to the retributive justice system that has been used. On the bright side, restorative justice does have some qualities that are able to bring the justice system back to its feet. In order to have a more effective penal system, there ought to be the full involvement of all its stakeholders. That would mean involving the victims more, in a bid to restore the bruised relationships with the offenders, the society, so that they be enlightened on avoiding acts that may stigmatize the ex-offenders and most importantly the government, especially in funding more reconciliation programmes.
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