Juma Injendi, Mwenesi Jephthar


Crime escalation in Africa has been associated with politics. Statistics reveal that to some extent, secondary school dropouts are a trigger to crime in Kenya. The period between 2009 and 2012 had seen the number of children aged between 15 years to 19 years in conflict with the law steadily rise in Vihiga County, Kenya. It was against that background that the current study sought to examine the relationship between secondary school dropouts and crime escalation in Vihiga County, Kenya. The objective was to discuss the criminal activities by secondary school dropouts in Vihiga County, Kenya. The Study was anchored on a conceptual framework of Labeling Theory and Conflict Theory. The target population was 5,760 whose respondents were 112 Principals, 5 District Probation Officers, 5,568 students who had dropped from school, 64 Chiefs, 1 County Commander, 5 Officers Commanding Police Divisions and 5 Divisional Criminal Investigating Officers. The sample size was 1,738. In-depth interviews with key informants were conducted to supplement information obtained from the questionnaire. Systematic random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the respondents. Data were collected through interviews with chiefs, District Probation Officers, Officers Commanding Police Stations and Divisional Criminal Investigating Officers to get information on criminal activities by dropouts. Questionnaires were administered to Principals and Drop-outs to get information on reasons for dropping out of school. The data were transcribed and analyzed using Correlational survey research design. Findings that emerged from this study indicated that secondary school dropouts committed different types of crimes like alcohol and drug abuse, stealing assault, affray, defilement, robbery with violence and murder. The current study was significant in that it was likely to remain a permanent record of study and would be used to advance knowledge by future researchers. It was also anticipated that by using the findings of the current study, Security and Education Agencies would benefit by understanding better the current nature of crime that was committed by secondary school dropouts.

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