Criminal counselling to prevent recidivism stepped up after success
THE PSYCHO-SOCIAL CLINICs set up to provide counselling to convicts, defendants on bail pending trial and suspects accused of taking drugs and domestic violence had been successful in lowering repeat offences over the past three years, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) secretary-general Sirinya Sitdhichai said.
The first counselling centre was trialled at the Thon Buri Criminal Court in 2009 before expanding to the Nonthaburi and Chiang Mai courts. Counselling has been provided to 4,900 people, Sirinya said.
The clinic at the Thon Buri Criminal Court counselled 2,227 people, 90 per cent of whom were drug offenders. Recidivism came down to 1.5 per cent. The clinic at Nonthaburi Court counselled 2,203 people, 98-per-cent drug offenders, and recidivism was down to 0.77 per cent. The Chiang Mai Court clinic served 517 people, 84-per-cent drug offenders, and recidivism was 2.7 per cent, he said.
Sirinya made the comments on Wednesday after he met the Office of the Courts of Justice secretary-general Athikhom Inthuputhi to sign a memorandum of understanding for a three-year cooperative effort to provide counselling to convicts, defendants in trials, suspects or people given suspended jail terms for taking drugs, and those involved in domestic violence, as well as to those who voluntarily sought help for similar issues.