Rehabilitation is crucial in prisons
Posted Monday, October 14 2013 at 01:00
The media recently gave us the rather shocking news that while in prison, only the convicted inmates are rehabilitated while those on remand miss out on this very crucial component! Positive psychology demands that all people, even those not incarcerated, deserve to have the professional hand of helper for self discovery leading to full utilisation of one’s potential. Who doesn’t want to be talked to when challenged by life events?
And the police have always wondered why suspected criminals come out of the prison gates hardened. That dilemma calls for a passionate debate to find remedy to this situation.
We have always believed that those who commit minor offences should walk out of the prisons gates reformed but we are shocked to discover that they upgrade to committing grave offences like armed robberies, carjacking and murders! They learn new tactics of committing crime and new tricks of dodging the law. That is why whenever the state fails to prove a case in court, it does not mean the suspects did not commit the crime.
In case of capital offences, such a suspect would have been on remand for some time. Did anyone take care of his/her emotional needs? How is such a person supposed to cope with such challenges? There would be so many questions surrounding this individual and his/her community. There are issues of self blame, forgiveness, anger, loss, rights and reputation. These and many more create a gap that professional helpers must fill in the process of rehabilitation for all, including those prisoners on remand.
Who takes care of the gap left in the family and his/her community? How is such an individual supposed to cope upon return? How about if there is no return at all? Some contemplate death and once no appropriate answers come by, there is more trouble. To me, this is a case to prove that all inmates need professional helpers to rehabilitate them while they are in prison.
This is what happens in other countries, especially in East Asia. Rehabilitation is for all prisoners because the ultimate goal of holding you in this facility is to change your attitude, your behaviour. And the benefit is to yourself and those around you. It must be done by professional helpers to prepare inmates for personal discovery, deep reflections and sustainable growth thereafter.
Finally, when prisoners are released from prison in those Asian countries, they have two matters to settle before they are finally accepted in their communities. The former inmate has a duty to write a letter to his/her community openly telling them what happened and seeking to be accepted again. Once this is done, a day is arranged for the former inmate to come and face the community for a peaceful integration back into his/her community.
This has tremendously changed the crime trends in these East Asian countries and Japan takes the lead in having the lowest crime rates across the globe. Any lessons for us to pick? I think we should emulate them.
Political commissar and PRO, Land Protection Police Unit. firstname.lastname@example.org