Friday, May 08, 2009

A fishy solution to ending violence?

Fish oil pills, rather than new and expensive gadgets, may hold the key to dealing with violent prisoners.

Taking a cue from their counterparts in the United Kingdom, the prison authorities here are also studying the effects of fish oil on reducing violent behaviour in inmates.

These studies, however, are at a preliminary stage. If implemented, the Singapore Prison Service will be the first to explore the impact of fish oil supplements, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, on violent behaviour in an Asian incarcerated population.

In a pilot study of 231 prisoners published in 2002, a group of University of Oxford researchers found that violent incidents, while in custody, were cut by more than a third among those given the supplements. Overall, offences recorded by the prison authorities fell by a quarter.

Costs of administering nutritional supplements were also as low as 0.2 per cent of costs of the total expenses spent on incarcerating these offenders. Leong Wee Keat


From TODAY, News – Wednesday, 06-May-2009

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