THE EDITOR, Sir:
The majority of Jamaicans are disgusted with the vicious crimes affecting our country, especially those committed against our women and children. Many have expressed their anger in the media. They have also recommended harsh measures which they felt could deter or significantly alleviate the problem.
At the centre of most of these offences are young men who are truly heartless and cruel. But however harsh the suggested punishments, a serious and sustained reduction cannot be guaranteed.
Many young men who grow up in homes without responsible parenting, and in many homes with single parents, have a much greater chance of encountering major challenges in life.
Single parents rearing children in this strenuous economic time will encounter real problems, particularly with their boys. Hence, the entire nation will continue to have a serious crime problem, and with increasing economic hardships, it will worsen.
Let us be mindful, and somewhat passionate, in understanding the agony that these young people experience continuously as a result of the absence of love and personal attention.
Effect of absent fathers
The absence of a father leaves many young men angry and frustrated about life, resulting in a defiant and rebellious attitude. There are various experiences with mothers' boyfriends and stepfathers towards their mothers and them. Oftentimes, boys are not in contact with their biological father, hence it is not idle to imagine that they are easily driven to unacceptable behaviours such as involvement with drugs, alcohol, marijuana, violent behaviour.
I believe that these young people truly need help, which would be a worthy alternative. Because of who they are, youngsters, human beings with endless potential, here is a proposal: Throughout Jamaica, a body of highly respected persons, our justices of the peace, could organise sessions once or twice per month to assist these youngsters in their communities. In a reasonable time, an appropriate programme could be prepared for their use, for example, pointing out the dangers of bad habits (drugs, gangs, weapons, undesirable relationships, etc).
Establishing friendships and solving or helping to reduce problems among these youngsters could work wonders.
ARTNEL S. HENRY (JP)