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Provide special interventions for youth at criminogenic areas

The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) has urged the Government to map out locations producing or tending to produce criminals and provide special interventions for the people, especially living there.

The Reverend Albright Asiwome Banibensu, a licensed Psychologist and the National Vice President of GPA, said such a move would drastically reduce or prevent the incidents of crimes, including ritual murders.

In an interview with Ghana News Agency, on Monday, Rev Banibensu said to prevent ritual killings, Government needed to know the motivation of the perpetuators to provide acceptable outlets for them.

“Generally, no human will kill the other for fun. It is not a usual thing. And when minors or children are involved, it raises eyebrows,” he said.

“Mental disorders cannot be ruled out but it will take a thorough assessment to arrive at such a conclusion. For now, we can just say it is a matter of deviance,” he said.

He, however, mentioned some of the interventions as programmes “CrossRoads” and “Better Choices”.

These are long-term programmes targeted at adolescent and young adults. They use a multi-learning approach that helps young people develop six basic character traits that help them grow up into responsible adults.

They also connect the school with the family of the children and the community as a whole.

Schools in these communities, Rev. Banibensu said needed educators who physically exhibited the family and societal traits that “we want to see in the children”.

“So, for instance, we can have more female teachers in there to portray to the young girls that education pays, while we can also have more married people on staff to demonstrate family values,” he explained.

“There should also be after-school activities organised for children in these communities. Green clubs, football clubs, boys’ scouts etc – are things to adopt in these communities.

He noted that negative peer pressure could play a role in delinquency and advised the youth to be cautious of who they regarded as their role models to imitate only those who had positive influence on them.

He quoted Proverbs 13:20: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm”, to buttress his point.

“Indeed, 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character”, he added.

He said God had a good plan and a timeline for everyone and it was unwise to go ahead of God in acquiring wealth.

Again, he quoted Proverbs 13:11: “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow”, to make his point.

Rev Banibensu said the youth should be helped to understand the principles and value of delayed gratification, as well as the peace of mind that came from having genuinely acquired wealth.

Children should be regarded to be part of the family’s overall plan and not seen as people without a voice, he advised.

Rev Banibensu urged parents to be active in the nurturing of their children, saying fathers, especially, must be more present at home to guide their growing sons.

He said according to the United States Department of Health/Census, 63 per cent of victims of youth suicides were from fatherless homes – five times the average.

Rev Banibensu said 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children were from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.

Additionally, he said, the Center for Disease Control had reported that 85 percent of all children who showed behavior disorders came from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.

“Eighty per cent of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes, representing 14 times the average, according to Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26,” he said.

Also, according to the National Principals Association Report, he said, 71 per cent of all high school dropouts were from fatherless homes – nine times the average.


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