The Department of Psychology and Education of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has appealed to the Government to promote guidance and counselling in all institutions.
Rev. Jonathan Asare, a member of the Guidance and Counselling Group of the Departmment, made the appeal in a 25-page presentation he made at a Guidance Seminar the Group organised on the topic: “Juvenile Recidivism: A Challenge to Nation Building.”
Juvenile Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted person, between ages 13-17 years, to reoffend after being released. An overview in many states indicates that up to 80 per cent of the youth who are incarcerated are rearrested within three years of release.
The seminar was part of the Group’s academic requirement aimed at sensitising the public, especially students in Effutuman, on the negative effects of Juvenile Recidivism.
Rev. Asare indicated that if guidance and counselling were promoted, professional counsellors would use their rich expertise to guide the youth, which would contribute to efforts at resolving juvenile recidivism in the society.
He said government spent huge sums of monies on prisoners adding that recidivism increased the financial burden on government in the bid to reform the offenders.
Rev. Asare said 2018 statistics from Senior Correctional Centres indicates that juveniles who fall within 17-19 years fill the adult prisons because they are either transferred there or engaged in a similar crime they committed earlier.
He said most of the crimes committed by juveniles were linked to poor parental care and called on parents not to shirk their obligations of providing the needs of their children.
He, however, urged children to be content with whatever their parents provided for them and also avoid bad companies to prevent ending up at the Senior Correctional Centres (SCCs).
Assistant Chief Prison Officer, Paul Awedoba Chirapanga, a resource person, said the SCCs had a number of challenges including inadequate teaching/learning materials for reformation and rehabilitation, inadequate numbers of social counsellors in Ghana’s prisons and stigma against ex-inmates affecting their re-integration into the communities.
He appealed to the authorities of UEW to put in place measures to ensure that Guidance and Counselling students had their attachments with the Prison Service to help in the reformation and rehabilitation of inmates.