Re-look at sentencing of criminals under our system – Security expert says

Irbard Ibrahim New Security training expert, Irbard Ibrahim

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 Source: angelonline.com

A security training expert, Irbard Ibrahim, has called for change in policy regarding the sentencing of criminals because, the system, according to him, does not serve its purpose in reforming convicts.

Speaking on the ‘Anↄpa Bↄfoↄ’ morning show on Angel FM, Mr. Ibrahim said the prison system does not group criminals based on the type of offences committed, hence instead of churning out positively transformed people who are ready to be reintegrated into society, a rather more hardened criminals are produced.

“Take for instance that I have stolen cassava and Kwamena has stolen a fowl and we find ourselves in the same yard with one who has committed murder. Through our interactions, there is transfer of expertise.

“So by the time Kwamena is out, he is already angry with the system. And because he is shunned by society, he will join a syndicate to find a sense of belonging. So the system is not reformative enough.” he explained.

He noted that for that to change and to enhance security, non-custodian sentencing should be practiced, where minor offenders can serve sentences in form of communal labour.

“When you commit a minor crime, communal service like sweeping a portion of Lapaz roads, to make you feel it will do. But if you combine all of the people in one place with hardened criminals, I think it needs a complete overhaul—a reset.”

Mr. Faruk Abdul Al-Wahab, a security analyst, who espoused the assertion, also noted that the code used by the Police in prosecuting the criminals needs to be looked at.

According to him, people who commit minor crimes like stealing are tagged “armed robbers” on the dockets of the police which if not fairly judged by an adjudicator, could create an avenue for the training of more hardened criminals.

“Why will a person steal another’s underwear hanged on a drying line and the police will tag the one an armed robber? When ‘armed robber’ is put on the docket, the Judge would judge the offender as an armed robber, and sentence him to 3 years of imprisonment.

“So that sentence which he goes to serve will cause an anger in him, because he believes it is nothing more than an underwear. At the prison, his master would have taught and told him who to contact so he will come out a monster, more aggressive and learn more regarding the crime, and the next thing is he is wielding gun,” he added.

Source: angelonline.com