Probation Officer suggests ways to curb crime

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Probation Officer, Denfield Phillip, has suggested ways to reduce the state’s criminal turnover rate, after completing a social inquiry report on Antigua & Barbuda.
Phillip, who has been a probation officer for over 10 years, recommended that the Ministry of Education take a serious look at changing the rules of expulsion for troubled youth.
According to him, a majority of robberies and other criminal offences are being committed by persons between the ages of 14 and 45, most of whom have dropped out or have been expelled from school.
“I firmly believe that they need to look at another method or another way of dealing with the matter,” Phillip explained, adding that “when they drop out of school and cannot get a job, they have to survive, and they seek other ways of trying to survive and a lot of times, they end up before the court.”
He agreed that while there must be some sort of disciplinary action, expulsion should be the last resort.
Phillip believes that a transfer of some of the students from one school to another may help in some instances.
He has also suggested that community-based programmes and a boot camp, supervised by the country’s Defence Force, be created to assist young people who break the law.
Poor parenting, he told Observer media, is causing mainly boys, to associate themselves with mentors outside of the home – mentors who are often a part of gangs.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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