50% of male prison inmates between ages 18 and 35- Director Samuels

A young policeman speaks of encountering a child offender and after forming a conversation with him, realized the father figure in the home was missing

There are several efforts being examined to ensure that the prison population is decreased given its overpopulation and other challenges.

On Tuesday during a Menโ€™s Forum which was organised by the Ministry of Social Protection at the Umana Yana, men gathered there was given a brief insight into what exists within the prison system.

โ€œLet me tell you this, we have a population of more nineteen hundred men within the prison system and of that number, 50 percent of them are between the ages of eighteen and thirty fiveโ€ Director of Prison Gladwin Samuels told the gathering.

Samuel who was among close to two hundred men gathered at the event on Tuesday underscored the need for men not only to be called upon to set examples but should be told that they need to set โ€˜right examplesโ€™ and noted that men should be in the home and not in prisons.

A participant at the event calling for older men to pass on their knowledge and experiences to younger men to enable them not to make mistakes similar to those who walked before them

โ€˜We need to change the way we teach men and I hope that we can teach men to set the right examples, look I have some men in prison who if they call a riot today, God forbid, we will need far more prisonโ€ Samuels noted as he lamented the need for men not only to be leading by example but they should be socialized into setting the right examples.

The need to review the sentencing policy that has seen persons whisked off to prison, many on remand became clear in 2016 and again in 2017 when riots at the over populated camp Street Jail saw the killing of seventeen inmates and the destruction of most of the Camp Street facility respectively.

At Tuesdayโ€™s event also, men called for the teaching profession to be more attracted to men.

A section of the gathering on Tuesday evening

โ€œWe should address the teaching profession where male students canโ€™t find a male that he can relate toโ€ one person noted.

He spoke in the context of male students encountering female teachers from the nursery school and most of their primary school lives. The issue of not having a male figure in those stages of a childโ€™s education life was raised and according to the participant, it is only when the male child is almost ready to leave school that they begin encounter male teachers, in the secondary school system, mostly fourth and fifth forms.

Members of the panel at the Men’s Forum who filed questions from the gathering

โ€œSo you have that entire period where all a child see is a female teacher and interacts with a female teacher as against a male who can give him manly guidance whenever needed so in the absence of the male figure in the school system, he has all that anger and everything else pent up inside of him because he cannot relate to a female teacher and when he gets into society, he begins to lash out and that is where our problems are coming fromโ€ one man at the forum noted.

The forum saw men being called upon to pass on knowledge and experience to the young generation of men so that the mistakes which were made by each passing generation are not repeated by those to come or that those mistakes are tremendously minimized.

International Menโ€™s Day was held under the theme โ€˜men leading by exampleโ€™