Apr 28, 2016 Letters
I said it in a letter about a year ago and I will say it again. The Ministry of Public Security, perhaps, in collaboration with the ministry of Social Protection, needs to have someone or a team, go into the Guyana prisons and find out from the inmates why they are becoming so violent. Those who have been arrested for committing these unconscionable crimes should be approached and engaged in some formal Q&A sessions. The government, for the sake of the safety its citizens, needs to know what is driving these criminals to be so violent. We need to know if there are things that can be done to reduce or eliminate these behaviors.
It is as though these perpetrators have given up on life. They commit these heinous crimes and then brag about them as if they suspect that there are no consequences for their actions. Or as if their own lives have no meaning. Something is driving these individuals to perpetuate these vicious acts and the administrators of this country need to find out what is happening. How is it that they are so many guns for hire? What is it about the mood in this country that a young person would be so willing to risk their life and freedom to commit such barbaric acts?
As a criminologist, with a passion for Clinical Psychology, I would be very interested in those findings and I am sure that there are other segments of the society that will be equally interested. A suicidal person seeks to end their own life. However, over the last 7 to 12 years we have seen in Guyana a blatant desire for our young people to engage in the acts of taking other peoples’ lives; either as revenge acts or paid assignments. What we as a country need to understand from those involved in these behaviors, is why has the value placed on life (of others as well as their own), become so insignificant and inconsequential to them?
The security and judicial systems are not designed to deal with the collection of data that will aid in these kinds of research. Therefore, the government needs to construct and empower an outfit to immediately undertake the challenge of ascertaining the causative factors for these deadly, antisocial behaviors exhibited among our youth. The research should include demographic, race, parental upbringing, gender, academic level, religion, age, etc. The research should be conducted by individuals who are trained and experienced in dealing with the nuances of the criminal mind, possessing the disposition to gather truthful answers from the participants.
Once a significant amount of data is collected and complied, it should then be released nationally so that stakeholders could sift through the findings to see how they might be able to help. For instance, if the data shows that the offenders are of a particular age range, or race, or academic status, or if they come from a certain demographic, programs can then be designed and interventions made with those scientific realities in mind.
Editor, for years Guyana has been shooting at the crime situation in the dark. A reduction in criminal activities will have to include every possible, conceivable, aspect of solutions. Cronyism, incestuous friendships, party affiliations, race and ethnicity will have to be relinquished. Guyana’s problems – all of them – can be traced to our 50 years of academic brain-drain. Therefore, all the help that is needed in Guyana should be welcomed, especially in the area of crime and recidivism.
Pastor Wendell Jeffrey
Practical Christianity Ministries
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