Public Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Ex-offenders and Their Reintegration in Nigeria: A Mixed Method Study

Tarela Ike, Dung Ezekiel Jidong, Mieyebi Lawrence Ike, Evangelyn Ebi Ayobi

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Abstract

Reintegrating ex-offenders into society poses a significant global challenge, yet, it is fundamental to reducing recidivism. Nevertheless, there is research paucity exploring public perceptions and attitudes toward ex-offenders and their reintegration in Nigeria. This study makes an original contribution, drawing on a mixed-method approach underpinned by positivist and interpretivist epistemology to understand attitudes toward ex-offenders’ reintegration and whether there is a positive association between the level of education and the likelihood of accepting ex-offenders into society. In total, 1187 respondents completed survey questionnaires from states representing Nigeria’s main geopolitical zones affected by conflict. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The qualitative analysis involved a unique combination of social identity and boundary theories. The quantitative ambit reveals a correlation coefficient of r= .025, denoting a negative association between the level of education and reintegration. The qualitative analysis further finds a lack of confidence in ex-offenders genuine reintegration coupled with the perceived role of community trauma, which collectively fuels a negative social identity against the ex-offenders. Collectively, insight gained from the findings advances our knowledge on improving reintegration in countries affected through addressing trauma and stigma to encourage the successful reintegration of ex-offenders and avoid recidivism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 May 2023

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