Help young offenders with education

To prevent youths from re-offending, the Government should launch secure schools and introduce measures to monitor the progress of each student.

These secure schools focus on empowering young people to become capable, confident and compassionate members of our society and, in turn, reduce the danger of them re-offending.

They should also be taught core subjects such as English, maths and science as well as be given access to work training and apprenticeship schemes (Panel to study how to reduce number of youth re-offenders; Jan 4).

Helping these juveniles to turn their lives around not only benefits them but also society at large. We must act fast, after they are released from prisons or reformative training centres, to steer them away from a life of crime and onto the right path towards finding a job and settling down with a family.

The secure schools should have the support of a mentor.

These young offenders are in need of education. Educating youth offenders will work provided there are jobs for them, which means providing apprenticeships with companies.

These young offenders need help and support to come to terms with what they have gone through, see the value in education and willingly take it up.

We need to understand their past, especially family relationships, because disruptive behaviour comes from a source such as emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse.

If society truly wants to rehabilitate juveniles, the Government must invest in resources, and resources cost money.

These young offenders need help and support to come to terms with what they have gone through, see the value in education and willingly take it up.

Too many of these youth are blighted by ineffective family support or mental health issues.

We need to show them compassion and help them get through these dark times.

We need to invest in alternative methods to incarceration, such as better rehabilitation facilities which provide specialised help.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2018, with the headline 'Help young offenders with education'. Print Edition | Subscribe