Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 172

Full Length Research Paper

Socioeconomic characteristics of prisoners and food insecurity occurrence and prevalence in Malawi’s prisons

Hastings B. Moloko
  • Hastings B. Moloko
  • University of Malawi, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Davis H. Ngongola
  • Davis H. Ngongola
  • Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Joseph Dzanja
  • Joseph Dzanja
  • Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Thabie Chilongo
  • Thabie Chilongo
  • Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 13 April 2017
  •  Accepted: 09 June 2017
  •  Published: 31 July 2017

Abstract

While Malawi’s per capita cereal production may be higher than her per capita cereal consumption, Malawi is a net cereal importer and thus food insecure. The food situation is much worse in Malawi’s prisons because inmates generally eat one meal per day. The objective of this study was to determine socioeconomic characteristics of prisoners and food insecurity occurrence and prevalence in Malawi’s prisons. Using structured questionnaires in face to face interviews, the study collected data from 1000 prisoners and 30 officers-in-charge from all prisons in the country. The data was analysed using Stata 12. Results from the analysis showed that Malawian prisoners were youthful, their mean age being 27.4 years. About 71% of the offenders had either no education at all, or had various levels of primary school education. Few prisoners had secondary school education and only about 1% had tertiary education. Most prisoners came from far away from prison and, consequently, they did not receive meals from home. About 70% of the prisoners considered themselves poor, while 95% considered themselves food insecure. Of these, 89% were severely food insecure.

Key words: Malawi’s prisons, food insecurity occurrence, food insecurity prevalence, severely food insecure.