Rehab programmes lacking, says former inmate

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011

REHABILITATION programmes by Correctional institutions in the country and after care of ex-prisoners are ineffective, an ex-prisoner says.
Thomas Marinae said that was why former prisoners were reverting to criminal activities after serving time.
Marinae, who is on parole after serving 10 years in Bomana, spoke out after seeing The National’s front page report yesterday on the shoot-out with five carjackers that left one dead, two injured and two others on the run.
He said this was a clear reflection the rehabilitation given to offenders was not effective.
He said many gang members were not first-time offenders and the after-care programme was not doing what it had been tasked to do.
Marinae said the government, the Correctional Services and other partners like after-care centres should be questioning why repeat offenders were reverting to crime once they were set free.
He said the Correctional Services hierarchy must find suitable and realistic rehabilitation programmes.
He said the environment in prisons was very different because everything was provided in prison but once free, the former inmates “must work or have some sort of support to survive and live”.
“Rehabilitation like cutting grass is not effective to make them change.
“Skills in carpentry, being a mechanic and welding are good rehabi­litation training for work outside prison but the training facilities are run down and the CS should look into that,” he said.
Marinae said while there were several after-care agencies in Port Moresby, ex-inmates were still being killed as the support they should be given was either non-existent, unattractive or ineffective.
He said support from the communities where the inmates came from was very important as the environment.
He said the parole programme should be more than signing in and should have feedback on the lives of parolees so they could get more help where needed.