Counselling clinics to prevent repeat of crimes ‘a success’
The Psycho-Social Clinics set up to provide counselling to convicts, defendants on bail pending trial and suspects accused of drug taking and domestic violence have been successful in lowering the repeat of such 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 Nonthaburi and Chiang Mai courts. Counselling has been provided to some 4,900 people, Sirinya said.
The clinic at the Thon Buri Criminal Court counselled 2,227 people, 90 per cent of them drug offenders. Repeat of the offence came down to 1.5 per cent. The clinic at Nonthaburi Court counselled 2,203 people, 98 per cent drug offenders, and repeat of the offence was down to 0.77 per cent. The Chiang Mai Court clinic served 517 people, 84 per cent drug offenders, and repeat of the offence was 2.7 per cent, he said.
Sirinya made the comments on Wednesday after he joined with the Office of the Courts of Justice secretary-general Athikhom Inthuputhi and related agencies in signing a memorandum of understanding for a three-year cooperation to proactively provide counselling to convicts, defendants under trial, suspects or those given suspended jail term for drug taking, and those involved in domestic violence, as well as to those voluntarily seeking help for similar issues. The aim was to help them change their behaviour so they wouldn’t repeat the offences.