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East Afr Med J. 2007 Apr;84(4):151-5.

Psychiatric morbidity among convicted male sex offenders at Kamiti Prison, Kenya.

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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19696-00202, Nairobi, Kenya.



To determine the prevalence and distribution of psychiatric morbidity among convicted male sex offenders and to establish factors associated with sexual offending.


A Cross-sectional descriptive survey.


Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, Nairobi, Kenya.


Seventy six male convicts.


Forty seven (61.8%) had defilement-related convictions, 23 (30.3%) had rape-related, while six (7.9%) had other convictions. Twenty seven (35.5%) out of 76 had a DSM-IV Axis I disorder, majority of whom (71.1%) were dependent on or abused substances, and 26 (34.2%) had an Axis II disorder, most of whom had antisocial and impulsive personality disorders (46.2%). Of these 12 (15.8%) had an Axis I diagnosis alone, 11 (14.5%) had an Axis II diagnosis alone while 15 (19.7%) had both Axis I and II diagnoses, that is, co-morbidity. Exposure to erotica was statistically associated with both Axis I and II (p = 0.02 and p = 0.0003 respectively) and pre-occupation with thoughts about sex was associated with Axis II disorders (p = 0.01).


Most of those with psychiatric morbidity targeted children and had antisocial or impulsive personality disorder. Awareness campaigns to enlighten the public of the fact that children are the most common victims and research to determine ways of treating and rehabilitating sexual offenders could reduce the vice.

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