每日英語跟讀 Ep.K154: Spain Turns to Corruption Rehab for Officials Who Can’t Stop Stealing
Carlos Alburquerque isn’t your typical rehab candidate. He’s a 75-year-old grandfather living in Córdoba, a city in southern Spain. He was a town notary before he retired in 2015. He hasn’t touched drugs or alcohol in years.
But his isn’t your typical rehab program: It’s an 11-month boot camp to reform corrupt Spanish officials and “reinsert” them into mainstream society.
“Repairing the damage is what is left for me in this life,” said Alburquerque, who is serving a four-year prison sentence for stealing around 400,000 euros (nearly $500,000) in his work drawing up contracts and deeds.
Over the course of 32 sessions in an austere conference room in Córdoba’s penitentiary, Alburquerque will be monitored by a team of psychiatrists. He will sit for group therapy sessions with titles like “personal abilities” and “values.” He is, in some ways, the guinea pig of an experiment meant to answer an age-old question: Buried deep in the soul of a swindler like Alburquerque, might there be an honest man?
That such a program exists in Spain may say much about the country’s belief in second chances as it does about how corruption has captured the public imagination here. Flip open a newspaper or turn on the radio: You will hear of schemes, scandals and skulduggery.
Ángel Luis Ortiz, a former judge who now runs Spain’s prisons, said the boom-bust cycles of Spain’s economy had led it to a long history of fraudsters and betrayals of public trust.
But at least, corruption rates in Spain were no worse than in other European nations, Ortiz said, just 5% of all crimes.It was Spain’s will to rehabilitate the offenders that set it apart from the rest, Ortiz said.
Nine prisons are running programs so far, which began in March. Prisoners don’t get reduced sentences for joining, but officials say participating is looked on favorably when it comes time to request parole.
Yet for all the volunteers, Ortiz still thinks his biggest challenge may be convincing Spain’s corrupt officials that there actually might be something wrong with them.
For that, the government turned to Sergio Ruiz, a prison psychiatrist who helped design the program. Ruiz said that in addition to getting participants to recognize their flaws in group therapy, inmates would eventually be asked to participate in “restorative justice” sessions where they would ask for forgiveness from their victims.
政府為此求助於監獄精神科醫生塞吉奧‧魯伊茲，他幫忙設計了這個計畫。他表示除了讓參加者在團體治療中認識到自身缺陷外，最終還會要求他們參加「修復式正義」的課程，請求受害者饒恕。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5495283