Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has described as ‘sad’ the detention of minors at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) days after a concerned citizen expressed disquiet over a fourteen-year-old male who was there in connection with a robbery.
“That is sad, and I think the Ministry of Home Affairs is looking into it. But that’s sad, very, very concerning,” Pierre said on Tuesday when reporters raised the issue on the sidelines of a House of Assembly meeting.
An official of the BCF defended the juvenile’s detention, asserting that the institution could not defy a court order.
And the official explained that the BCF keeps juveniles in a separate block away from the general inmate population and protects the youngsters.
The official’s disclosure came in response to concerns that the authorities are failing the young people and becoming accomplices in turning juveniles into hard-core criminals.
The Saint Lucia cabinet has approved the George Charles Secondary School site for a juvenile centre.
Minister for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment Joachim Henry Henry said he was discussing funding for the proposed facility with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Henry also revealed that early next month, he would visit a juvenile centre in Grenada where the authorities repurposed a school.
“I heard that it is a good juvenile centre,” he told reporters.