Community service and recidivism: A study of the legal and institutional framework in Kampala District
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In terms of law enforcement, recidivism refers to any case in which a criminal repeats a crime; despite being punished for it. This problem became so apparent in Uganda due to over relying on imprisonment as a punishment. This was so because prisons were found to have no proper facilities to cater for the rehabilitation and reintegration of convicts into society especially after long jail terms and after undergoing a process of prisonisation. This led to penal reform in Uganda which encouraged the use of non-custodial sentences and strongly recommended community service. This work is an attempt to investigate the legal and institutional framework of community service in order to establish how it impacts on recidivism. Community service is looked at as a sentence and as an administrative scheme. Accordingly various issues that impact on recidivism and the legal and institutional framework of community service were analyzed. Prior studies on the subject under study were relied on to provide a detailed analysis of the problem under investigation. The legal and institutional framework that was studied in this work includes the national and district committees, national secretariat, judiciary, police, placement institutions and the probation and social welfare office. Others include prisons, supervisor, community and Government. The study employed a qualitative methodology with aspects of quantitative research and found that most of the institutional framework was non existent, there was lack of monitoring and supervision of offenders at all levels and the guidelines established in the implementation of the scheme were not being followed. No skills were imparted in the offenders and there was thus need to adopt new approaches for the better implementation of the sentence and solve the problem of recidivism.