Castries Saint Lucia, Monday, 19 September 2016: According to the OECS website, “The OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Project was born out of discussions between the OECS Secretariat and USAID. Concluding agreements identified children and youth as a priority group deserving of support. More precisely the discussions focused on the existing Juvenile Justice Systems of the Six (6) independent member States and to strengthen the same through the application of reforms measures applied both nationally and sub-regionally. The project is supported by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) which a Presidential Initiative indicative of a shifting paradigm of United States Cooperation with the Caribbean region”.
The project came into effect on October 2011 and was expected to last until September 2014. We urge the OECS Secretariat, the Ministries of Social Transformation and Home Affairs to ensure that this project provides tangible results as stated in objective three (3): i.e.
Modernization of Diversion, Detention and Rehabilitative Processes in the Juvenile Justice System
Support to existing Court Diversion Programmes
Court Diversion Programmes operating in all participating Member States
Alternative dispute resolution methods used in the juvenile justice system
During the implementation of this project juvenile reforms and rehabilitation has declined drastically at government juvenile reform institutions, specifically, the Boys Training Centre, we hope that every effort will be made to refocus the direction of this project on tangible juvenile justice interventions and not a tool to reward public officials, who continue to fail