Categorized | National News

Archdeacon Pushes Major Reform To Fight Crime

Popular Clergyman Anglican Archdeacon James Palacious has called for major reform from all sectors of society to effectively tackle the country’s crime woes.

The straight-talking archdeacon’s position breaks rank with others in the religious community but he’s unapologetic and said the status quo is simply not working.

Archdeacon Palacious recently joined other members of The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) to announce plans for a national prayer service scheduled for June 13.

The service is in response to the escalating crime problem, particularly, violent incidents that are plaguing the country.

At the mid-year point, 2013 is already shaping up to be another record year in terms of the country’s murder count and it is because of this grim projection that Archdeacon Palacious insists that the country now assess how it deals with crime and with criminals.

He said what’s first needed is a comprehensive national family planning progamme and a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system.

“The court system is a type of revolving door,” he said. “They arrest the people – the courts unable to deal with matters expeditiously so you see some of these well known criminals – there is hardly a person who is getting killed right now who is unknown to police. Some of these people should really be behind bars but the prison system is over taxed.”

Archdeacon Palacious said reform is also needed in the prison system which he maintained has failed to rehabilitate criminals; in addition; he said the country must give serious consideration to the granting of parole.

“If you are serving 15 years in prison and you have served 10 of those years, the truth is I really believe that you should be released on parole,” Archdeacon Palacious said.

“The space that you are now occupying – the expenses we are incurring from your being there could better be utilised elsewhere. Some of these people who by virtue that they can’t get a court date or there’s no physical space in prison they’re the ones who ought to be there. After 10 or 12 years in prison basically you have paid your dues to society and if you’re not rehabilitated by now you’re never going to be rehabilitated so you might as well get them out.”

The church is not exempt from the Archdeacon’s criticism, which he charged must play a greater role in helping those who have gone off the right path to readjust and be productive citizens in society.

“As part of your parole exercise you ought to be made to go and be attached – where do you live? Yellow Elder then you go to Christ the King. Where do you live? Balfour Avenue then you go to New Bethany Baptist Church and when Pastor Cooper says you didn’t come to church then you go back to jail, “Archdeacon Palacious said.

“We have to be a forgiving community and not only a forgiving community but we have to help to facilitate the re-entry of some these people into society.”

The national prayer service will take place this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Evangelistic Temple.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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