The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Guyana and Suriname, Jerney Videtic is of the firm view that lengthy prison sentences will not reduce crime, but rather the implementation of sanctions.
The diplomat’s statements were made on Friday at the launch of a Regional workshop dubbed ‘Train-the-Trainers’ which will focus on Restorative Justice under the Sycamore Tree Project, at the Grand Coast Hotel, Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara.
According to Videtic, punishment will not be effective in lowering the crime rate.
It is because of this view he noted that sanctions should be imposed on perpetrators of crime.
“Lengthy, severe punishment does not change behaviour what does is immediate and certain sanctions. That is why we need to increase punitive policies which cause prison book relations to grow at a much faster rate than reported crimes” Videtic stated.
Meanwhile a facilitator of the five-day workshop, Pastor Wendell Jeffrey pointed out that the training program will be geared towards training persons who happen to be ex-offenders to conduct rehabilitation programs with prisoners to transform their minds, thereby creating the necessary change.
“This restorative justice project begins today with the raining of trainers workshop, this will see over 60 people being trained in an hands on approach to capacity building in the field of prison rehabilitation. The program will build from a comprehension of what is termed restorative justice to the actual engagement of ex offenders and recovering addicts in practical application” Jeffrey revealed.
A few areas which will be discussed with prisoners are how their criminal behaviour would affect their victims as well as the genesis of criminal behaviours of perpetrators.
The Sycamore Tree Project is an in-prison restorative justice programme which seeks to bring together unrelated victims and offenders to discuss crime and its impact.
It takes its name from the story of Zacchaeus and his encounter with Jesus in the Bible.
A senior member of the organizing team related that they aspire to reach the prisons and begin their mission by January.