Recidivism and rehabilitation in Suriname

Publicity for ISS/FHR-Lim A. Po Institute MA thesis by Marisca Bouwe-Boerleider

Marisca Bouwe-Boerleider recently graduated from the Master of Public Administration (MPA) joint Degree programme conducted by ISS/Erasmus and the FHR-Lim A. Po Institute in Suriname.

The research results of her MA Thesis entitled 'Recidivism and rehabilitation: An analysis of the state penitentiary system', has recieved attention from the local media and now being disseminated by the local Suriname newspaper De Ware Tijd. Ms.Bouwe-Boerleider's thesis was supervised by ISS Research Associate Dr. Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits.

About the thesis

By analysing the state penitentiary system, this thesis investigates the issue of recidivism and rehabilitation, a compelling social issue in Suriname. The research  offers a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies in the criminal justice sector and in the domain of social policy.

The study finds that, at a policy level, the Government of Suriname makes no attempt to find a structured and institutionalized solution to the problem of recidivism. This study also finds that policy-making processes are exclusive and lacking a social construction dimension as they exclude the voices of recidivists whose life is affected most by policies. Last but not least, the thesis identifies the widespread societal stigma attached to imprisonment and recidivism in Suriname as an important challenge to be overcome if any rehabilitation policy is to be realised.