Desist from neglect of juvenile offenders – JRF boss

The Executive Director of Juvenile Reform Foundation (JRF)-Ghana, Geoffrey Chaucer Ofori, has advised families against neglecting juvenile offenders who are released from correctional centres. He observed that majority of parents are reluctant in investing in the education and technical skills of these young offenders. Such parents, according to him, hold the view that those offenders upon their release could go back to their old ways, including robbery, killing and pick pocketing, hence they prefer to invest their monies in other ventures. “Parents deem it too risky to invest their time and monies in these young offenders because they consider them a waste of time and resources, a situation which is worrying,” he claimed. He expressed regrets that some extended family members neglect such children who have lost their parents, adding the families completely disassociate themselves from these young offenders who they have tagged “vagabonds, bad boys and rascals”. Mr Ofori pointed out that majority of the released inmates are tempted to hit the streets for survival when they are rejected by their families who are supposed to show them love and affection. “Acceptance by family members is the first step to successful reintegration for young offenders, but mostly when the parents of these young offenders are dead, the extended family members disassociate themselves from their development.“Neglecting them will only heighten recidivism. The extended families should take responsibilities of young offenders who have lost their biological parents,” advised. Touching on parenting, Mr Ofori observed that majority of parents are obsessed about their jobs and businesses for which reason they pay little attention to their children’s needs. He said majority of parents leave their children in the hands of people who know little about their children. According to him, there is total neglect on the side of majority of parents, adding that children will not engage in social vices if parents spend time to train them. He entreated parents to find time to take care of their children in order not to fall victims to the juvenile justice system.

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