Fri 1st May 2009

Rehabilitation of inmates should not be an option in SVG

The Prison Service induction course held recently, with emphasis on the rehabilitation of inmates, is seen by some as an appropriate strategy to help inmates reintegrate back into society.

However, SVG Green Party believes that this approach by the ULP regime, of trying to show the outside world that they have a strong compassion for helping prisoners by utilising the rehab programme strategy, is really perpetuating crime. Policies should have been put in place at an early stage of young males development to empower them to think positively, plan wisely and have a high self esteem for a wholesome life outside of prison.

According to the prison authorities, the fact that so many of our young males are going to prison, shows that there is a huge need for the rehab program. The ever increasing prison population though shows that the policy makers have got it wrong. We have already lost about two generations of our young men and building a multi million dollar prison rather creating jobs will only recycle criminality in our society.

Why are the SVG authorities waiting until boys become prison inmates before they are offered career advice and skills training for employment in civil society? This could be nothing but a showcase to the outside world to give the impression that they are doing something positive for the inmates.

Every year the prison population increases, therefore, the rehab programme serves only as a sticking plaster. There is no organised strategy for absorption of these inmates back in to civil society to ensure that they are gainfully employed.

There is also nothing being done to deal with the dreadful stigma of being an ex-prisoner that lingers in our society. It is high time that the ULP policy makers get back to the drawing board. The increasing the size of the prison and the police force is proving to be counter productive for our young men and to national development.

When you compare the number of females in prison to that of males, one can see that there is a definite problem which has its roots in the home and family. The ULP regime has attempted to govern SVG for the past eight years, but has failed miserably to formulate polices that assist and foster the building of solid family structures. Rehab in isolation will not and can not work.

SVG Green Party believes that the ill discipline at the top of our society is filtering down and having a substantial negative impact. Those at the top must lead by good example and earn respect.

A Green society is needed in SVG: one that creates strong communities and strong families and nurtures children to fulfil their potential and have wholesome, enjoyable lives. Young people need to be given more opportunities to gain sustainable employment and guidance in skills for life. Children in SVG should be living fuller, happier lives.

Unfortunately, ULP regime policies have seen SVG suffer from increases in teenage pregnancy, high levels of child abuse and an increasing number of young people languishing in prison seeing their lives waste away. Surely, it's time for the ULP regime to resign.

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