Crime council’s survey of young men reveals most were abused as a child

Dr. David Allen, newly appointed head of the Advisory Council on Crime.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The newly-formed crime council, led by noted psychiatrist Dr. David Allen, on Monday shed light on a number of factors they believe lead young men to commit murder and other dangerous crimes.

The council surveyed young men in and out of prison and, according to the results, about 100 per cent of the respondents endured sexual and/or physical abuse as a child.

Dr. Allen said that The Bahamas has developed a culture where teens rather than parents control their homes.

“We have two groups in the prison. We were able to stage how they did the killings and we gave them a study. Prisoners told me that they did not like how we did the study… that they did not like my language but they confirmed that I got the six stages of killing [correct],” Dr. Allen explained.

According to Dr. Allen, when the council asked about post-traumatic stress syndrome, 87 per cent of the respondents tested positive for having moderate to severe PTSD.

Allen confirmed that the scores received are the same as a person returning home from war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“That means they carry murderous rage, they are easily provoked, they are on edge and have poor education,” Dr. Allen revealed.

Allen said persons imprisoned for murder are being asked what is wrong with them, rather than what they’ve been through during their childhood.

William Lunn, a member of the advisory crime council said that “the family” group, led by psychiatrist Dr. David Allen, was created to provide more connection and structure for those who do not have someone to confide in.

According to Lunn, the majority of those that he mentors said that they enter gangs not as a sign of loyalty, but simply as a means of safety.

“Gangs gave me a sense of connection and identity, a sense of belonging; and that’s what you don’t see. This is what a lot of them lack at home,” Lunn said, adding that gangs are more powerful in that they promise young people relief but are instead putting their lives in danger.

The council interviews about 300 persons a week at prison sessions and at sessions held at local churches.

Lunn told Eyewitness News Online that their main goal is to bring an awareness now, and to reach as many persons as possible to help them obtain a sense of identity.