IMD coordinator says building jails will not address violence

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The newly installed Caribbean Coordinator for International Men’s Day (IMD) said that enacting stricter legislation, strengthening the armed forces, and expanding and building new prisons will not address the root cause of violence amongst men.
Yesterday, Michael Stewart said that violence must be addressed at the level of the home as, according to the statistics, eight in 10 men who commit violent acts against other men often come from single-parent homes that are headed by women.
He posited that even though there is great effort in such households, the mothers cannot teach their sons how to truly be men.
“If you don’t attack it at the home level, everything else we do, though it may be a good thing, it would all be in vain if they don’t have that component put into the entire mix,” he said.
The IMD co-ordinator said the consequence for breaking the law should be seen as more than just punishment, and that rehabilitation should be focused on building a better person instead of allowing an angry person to return to society, since they are likely to break the law again.
“Even one of the judges on [TV] — Judge Mathis — he was in prison years ago, and now he is doing an excellent job. We’ve seen people who have come through the system and have been doing great; Bishop T D Jakes is one,” he said.
Pointing to the Trinidad & Tobago example where a high percentage of violent crimes are committed by men, Stewart said the focus will be on helping males to control their emotions, since they often have pent-up anger, because they do not vent or discuss their problems like women.
“One of the things we have to do when we are rehabilitating people, we have to ask ourselves to rehabilitate to what. Many times, people go to the jail and (they) come back out worse than they were [when they went in],” he said.

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