The study justification derives from the fact that robbery convicts in both Kamiti and Langata prisons have been on the increase despite the Kenyan government spending huge sums of money to combat the same. The study sought to address this problem by investigating factors that influence individuals to commit robbery. The guiding objectives were: To establish; personal and socio-economic attributes of robbery convicts at Kamiti and Langata prisons; the influence of drug abuse on involvement in robbery; the extent to which unemployment inclines an individual to commit robbery; the role played by family criminological history in an individual’s involvement in robbery; and the extent to which physical and social environments predispose individuals to commit robbery.
The study used stratified sampling technique to pick a sample of 123 respondents. Ten key informants were also purposively selected. They included prison warders from the two prisons, officers in charge of the two prisons, court clerks and police officers. Data was analysed both quantitatively using descriptive statistics and qualitatively through themes.
The findings indicated that majority of the respondents were married, and therefore had family obligations to meet which may have compelled them to engage in robbery to earn a livelihood. Majority of them were aged 21-30 years at the time of imprisonment. This implies that they were youthful and energetic. In addition, an overwhelming majority of the respondents attested that drug abuse causes individuals to commit robbery thus, suggesting a structured relationship between drug abuse and robbery. The study further revealed that a majority of the respondents were of the view that unemployment causes individuals to commit robbery.
It was recommended that the National Crime Research Centre (NCRC), which is a government agency, needs to compile data on the high number of youths aged between 18-30 years committing robbery in Kenya and thereafter, develop approaches towards reducing it. The study further recommends review of strategies used to mitigate against robbery by addressing the social issues of drug abuse, unemployment and good parenting practices.
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