Two ex-convicts talk about youth and guns

Tuesday, April 17, 2012    

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LAST week's episode of Talk Up Yout focused on the issue of youth and guns and the show focused on the stories of two young men Phillip and George.

Philip spent six years in prison because of a gun possession charge. He was caught with the weapon by the police, a gun which his stepbrother had given him to hold.

Daniel also spent six years in prison, but under quite different circumstances. He spent the night at a friend's house, which the police decided to search and he alleged that although many people lived in that house, but the gun found was blamed on him.

Phillip and George described their convictions as 'kangaroo trials', alleging that no finger prints were taking by the police and that both were falsely accused of firing at the police.

Going to prison destroyed their future, they both claim as they lost close connection with family members and many close friends. Being in prison was not a good time for them, having to endure the many inmates fights, all the while ensuring that they kept themselves safe. But in prison, they also learned many life lessons, which have helped them through life -- such as self-control and actually learning to think of the consequences of their actions.

Dr Carole Mitchell, clinical psychologist, emphasised that there was great concern that this happened to these young men in their TEENage years. Events like these are becoming even more common because of the lack of role models for TEENs to follow and the lack of fathers and other male figures in the society.

Rehabilitation of these TEENs will be a hard process especially is they do not have the support of their families or loved ones, especially if the person they emulate also carries a gun.

Phillip's message to kids, who have gone through or are going through similar experience is to keep positive no matter what. "Other than picking up the gun find something more constructive to do, like reading a book."





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