Tracing Parents of Juvenile Offenders Begins With a Phone Call and a Map

James Ouma
Posted April 13, 2017 from Kenya

It takes two matatus to arrive to my next destination. Like the previous trips I have taken before, I don’t know what awaits me. All I have is a simple plan whose success lies on the roughly sketched map on the piece of paper I have folded and unfolded, again and again. I am nervous but you can’t tell by just looking at me. Meeting parents, the police officers who arrested the boys and the people they committed a crime against isn’t an easy thing to do.

I don’t have a clue what I am going to gain from these meetings. Most of the times it begins from making calls to the parents or the people the boys have wronged. Some of them respond very well. The rest respond with hostility which is understandable. There is a call I made and it has never escaped my memory.

“I had given up on ever seeing my son alive,” a mother replied after I had informed her about her son’s whereabouts. “My son usually leaves and comes back home when he feels like. And since he got into crime I usually expect to hear bad news. This is the longest he has been away.”

“When did you see him last?” I asked.

“Four months ago!” she said. “The members of his gang were caught while stealing and beaten up and burnt by the mob.”

“Your son was the only one who the police got to before the mob could do the same to him,” I said. “Would you please find time to visit and talk to him?”

“What do I say?” she asked, a heavy strain drowning her question.

“Just come and spend a few a few minutes with him,” I replied. “You don’t have to say anything mom.”

“Okay, but promise me that you will be there,” she said.

“Yes mom, I will be there.”

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Comments 1

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annadassa
Nov 29, 2017
Nov 29, 2017

James,

Thanks for Sharing...........!

annadassa(Lucette)