Categorized | National News

First Phase Of Shock Treatment Complete

More than 20 young men have completed the first phase of a three-day Shock Treatment Programme, the first of its kind in The Bahamas.

Exposure to Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP), former offenders and visits to the Central Police Station, the morgue and graveyards were some of the components of the programme that 22 young men experienced.

The idea is to expose at-risk youth to the cold realities of committing crime in an effort to deter them from actually doing so.

However, despite the good the government is hoping the initiative accomplishes, Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard Nottage yesterday expressed disappointment it has already garnered from some members of the public.

“Sometimes I wonder what kind of country is this paradise I live in that we are so intent on breaking up things before we build it, before we got started, they started to talk down the program,” he said.

“I ignored the naysayers, but we modified the programme so that you all are happy with it because I wanted this programme to start and I want it to be successful and therefore, I didn’t want us to be attracting negative vibes, but I want to thank you – the parents who love your children enough and probably have faith in us or maybe didn’t have any faith in us, but knew that you had a need to allow us to interact with your children to see if we can help them to make the right choices.”

Minister Nottage went on to dispel the notion that the young men spent a night in prison or were forced to participate in the programme.

Touting the initiative was Commissioner of Police, Elliston Greenslade.

“Finally, we in The Bahamas are starting – more particular in New Providence – to get it right. We’re starting not to recognise by our words the problems that we have, but we are really in a real way touching people and bringing them to us…and giving them an opportunity to be touched,” he said.

“We could look back at this group and say we’re finally in the right direction now working with our young men. We can’t forget the young women, but we’re working with our young men and we’re going to ask each one of you to reach one and you would be amazed at what we can do in our community.”

Alexis Dean Francis, the mother of one of the participants said she prays that this programme saves her son from a life of violence and crime.

“This programme is the answer to my pray. My son Mervin Johnson has great potential, but something went wrong somewhere, I realised there was nothing else that I could do. I just had to reach out further,” she said.

“He is a bully in the home. He has a terrible attitude, it scares me. Mervin is really terrible in school and I need help. Me and my husband can’t do it alone. I really hope this changes my chiLd.”

The shock treatment continues for the next 24 months.

A new group of participants will be enrolled in July.

The programme is part of the government’s strategy to reduce and control crime throughout the country

Written by Jones Bahamas

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