Part 1 established that there was no one solution to crime and that if we want to solve crime we have to approach it from different angles as crime is a multifaceted problem.
Long Term Solutions To Crime
When we look at crime we cannot escape the fact that parenting or the lack thereof plays a key role in who becomes a criminal.
It only makes sense that better parenting will produce more young men (and women) of character who will become contributing members of society.
To produce better parents in our society we need to address the following;
- Parenting skills and responsibilities of both men and women
- Teenage pregnancy
Another issue is dead beat dads; these men who go around fathering children with multiple women and cannot or refuse to live up to their responsibility. There should be no running away from this. I personally feel this should be addressed with legislation (more that the current child support legislation)
Parenting is a huge responsibility. We can no longer allow people to grow up monsters because they are unprepared or unwilling to be proper parents.
Once you become a parent you have an obligation to society and failing to live up to that responsibility should result in serious consequences.
Programs to Identify At Risk Youth
The young men who are wreaking havoc on our society did not just up one day and decide to become criminals. No, they have been on that path for a very long time.
As a society we need to guide that path to ensure the destination is not a life of crime.
Creating better and stronger parents is a start, but what happens when parents are struggling or despite all their best efforts the child still goes astray?
We need to have a structured program in place to evaluate and identify at risk kids so that they can be directed into programs that could hopefully turn them around.
But how do we know who’s at risk or when they can still be reached?
A good way to find out would be to conduct a study of criminals already in the system. Some of the questions I’d ask;
- What characteristics do they have in common?
- Do they come from single parent homes, or a particular environment?
- Are they school drop outs and what was their GPA in school?
Once we have answer to these questions (and many more) we can start to formulate a picture of how and why kids become criminals. Then we can design programs that can prevent future generations of young men following the same path.
The Greatest Untapped Resource in The Fight Against Crime In The Bahamas are Sitting In Foxhill Prison (Click To Tweet)
The young men who are wreaking havoc on our society did not decide to become criminals one day. They were on that path for a while (Click To Tweet)
Safety Net For At Risk Youth
Once we identify at risk youth we need to have multiple programs and organizations who’s only goal is to get through to them and get them on the right path.
These organizations should expose them to opportunities and environments that will change their mindset, impart socially acceptable behavior and develop their character.
I know there are several programs like this exist now. But I believe we need more of them and each should be part of a cohesive strategy.
More importantly they need to receive the total support of The Government of The Bahamas.
While watching a crime forum in 2013 I was struck by how many frustrated persons got up and said the very same thing; They were working with kids but received very little support from government.
If we’re serious about reducing crime in this country this has to change.
If the children are our future, the government should invest heavily in them rather than subsidizing mega resorts and poorly run government corporations
Every child should have multiple avenues to become a productive and successful member of society. No crime fighting plan is sustainable without this approach.
The Government of The Bahamas needs to subsidize our kids rather than mega resorts and Government Agencies (Click To Tweet)
Increased Penalties For Multiple Offenses
I’d like to see some kind of 3 strike rule implemented here in The Bahamas.
A person who has served time for gun possession, or armed robbery and is arrested for the same crime a second time should receive a stiffer penalty.
Likewise, a person who has been arrested multiple times for different and escalating offenses should receive a harsher penalty.
I don’t know what has to be done legally to make this happen, which is why I have it under long term, but this is something we really need to look into.
Part 3: Medium Term Solutions To Crime will address solutions that will take around 5 but less than 10 years to implement or begin bearing fruit. It will also focus on a different angle than the previous article
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