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By Leonard GildarieI look at my kids and sometimes wonder how I would react if something happens to them. I worry if they end up in the hospital and have to be kept overnight. I was six when my dad was killed in the line of duty while he was a member of the police force.I was too young to understand. I got over it.Two years ago, my mom died. I am still trying to make peace with myself, and one of these days I will summon up the courage to talk about the trauma.I believe most parents feel the same. My wife tells me that even a little bruise on my little son is enough to make her feel helpless.I started out in the newspaper business covering the courts. You would see the regulars. Their loved ones are career criminals who were caught. It did not mean that the convicted ones are abandoned. Take a walk on Camp Street around midday and see the many families that are taking lunch for the inmates.You sometimes hear the disbelief in the mother’s voice when told that her son was involved in “bad business”.My point is that there are bad apples and quite a number of others who got caught as first-timers. It is the latter that I am worried about.Do we have programmes that focus more on rehabilitation than punishment?According to a 2014 Human Rights Watch report, “tough-on-crime” laws adopted since the 1980s have filled U.S. prisons with mostly non-violent offenders. This policy failed to rehabilitate prisoners and many were worse on release than before incarceration.We see on a daily basis, teens being picked up, thrown into police vehicles and later charged. Many would argue that these young ones are the most deadly of the criminals because of ignorance, bravado and drugs. All of them are thrown into a system that can only make them worse. The prison authorities will tell us different.How much do we use statistics to help us forge our crime-fighting policies? Is it more of a reactive response that we have been seeing from our politicians?In developed country, the use of statistics is critical in planning. The US, for instance, loves stats. I learnt that on January 1,Cheap China Jerseys, 2008, more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States were in prison or jail. Total US incarceration peaked in 2008. Total correctional population (prison, jail, probation, parole) peaked in 2007. If all prisoners are counted (including juvenile, territorial, ICE, Indian country, and military),Wholesale Jerseys China, then in 2008 the USA had around 24.7% of the world’s 9.8 million prisoners.In 2008 approximately one in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the United States was either behind bars or being monitored (probation and parole). In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandatory sentencing that came about during the “War on Drugs.”Depending on the crime,Chile Soccer Jersey, the convicted persons are sentenced on varying levels.It is not hard to think what happens in Guyana. We have holding facilities at Camp Street, Timehri,NFL Jerseys Cheap, Mazaruni, Lusignan and in Berbice. On the Essequibo Coast, there is what is known as “Boys School”.The situation up to a few years ago, according to reports carried in the media, was horrendous,NFL Jerseys China, with some of the female inmates discovered pregnant.How much are we paying attention to how we are treating our first-time offenders?While there are sewing, woodworking, welding and other programmes for inmates in the system, I am thinking that maybe we need some “halfway” facilities for non-violent prisoners. We have lots of problems with the city. Many of the streets need cleaning. I can talk about cleaning all of them, which can allow in some way for the rehabilitation of our non-violent prisoners.I don’t have all the answers but there are best practices from around the world we can learn from. Not doing anything or believing our police force is the biggest solution is like burying our heads in the sand. There needs to be a holistic approach in fighting crime, and this should include the manner in which justice is dispensed.By not paying enough attention to this simmering problem,China Jerseys Cheap, we may be creating criminals.
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