Charles M Wafula, Solomon G Koome


European Prison Education Association (EPEA) sees prison education as a moral rightthat meets a basic human need. Similarly, the advocacy of human rights claims thatpeople held in prison are citizens, and that citizens are entitled to life-long educationtoensure their full development, therefore prisoners should be offered meaningfuleducation hence education is a very important human activity. It helps any societyfashion and model individuals to function well in their environment. The purpose ofeducation is to equip the citizenry to reshape their society and eliminate inequality. Thisstudy therefore sought to examine the influence of prison education programme onperformance of ex-convict small scale business venture in Taita Taveta County, Kenya.The objective of the study was: To establish how entrepreneurial skill influencesperformance of ex-convict small scale business ventures. Data wascollected by use of asemi-structured questionnaire and an interview schedule from the target population.The study focused on a total of 300 ex-convicts in Taita Taveta County that hosts fourpenal institutions namely; Voi prison, Taveta prison, Wundanyi and ManyaniMaximum Security prison. From the four penal institutions in Taita Taveta county thedata base for release (those completely served sentence, paid fine, power of mercy andappeal on the sentence) for three years (2012-2014) indicates 1,800 out of which 300 arefrom the TaitaTaveta locality. The researcher also targeted 80 prison technicalinstructors who are tasked in training the inmates stationed in four penal institutions inTaita Taveta County. The researcher sampled60 ex-convict and 16 prison technicalinstructors for the study. From the findings of the study, it was concluded that majorityof small scale business ex-convicts had entrepreneurial skills. The prison educationprogramme was found to be of great benefit to the ex-convicts. It was recommendedthat development and coordination of re-integration programme activities withconjunction with community based stakeholders and NGOs to receive immediateattention and form a core part of a new after care policy; the Kenya prison should workwith the county governments to assist in reintegration of ex-convicts back in the societyan assist them in starting businesses through funding and subsidized businessregistration. The government should also assist them through the Uwezo fund to startoff their business venture and update prisoner earning scheme to reflect the currenteconomic status.

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