Sex offenders offered help to change behaviour
Stabroek News
March 27, 2003

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A programme designed to help in the psychological and moral rehabilitation of incarcerated sex offenders at the Georgetown Prisons (GP) was recently initiated.

"In an effort to assist and reform prisoners, a new and ongoing programme [was] implemented for sex offenders at the GP [last Monday]," a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release stated.

The release said the programme included a combination of sociological, psychological and religious therapy and is intended for convicted and remand prisoners whose crimes include rape, incest and molestation.

Prison Chaplin and Programme Coordinator, Fay Clarke told Stabroek News that a psychotherapist, probation and social welfare officers, and ministers from various churches would work together over the next few weeks in an effort to ensure the programme's success.

And the approach to be used would deal directly with the `Guyana' situation, this newspaper was informed.

"Many of these men realise what they have done and they are willing to try and rectify the situation," Clarke is quoted by GINA as saying. The Chaplin noted too that it had been discovered that most sex offenders were abused during their childhood and in turn became abusers, GINA said, adding that the therapy was aimed at effecting change in the behavioural patterns of the prisoners.

According to the release, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons Clyde Charles disclosed that the affected prisoners had indicated interest, with 47 of them currently involved. Additionally, this number is expected to increase since the programme is a continuous one.

"The objectives of the programme are to make prisoners recognise what they have done, [show them] how to address their behavioural pattern, examine the factors [which] cause them to behave in such a manner and to make them become aware that sexual offences are crimes of violence," the release concluded.

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