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(SNO) — Child protection practitioners in Saint Lucia are welcoming a training programme in Restorative Justice which they say will help improve future outcomes for young people on the island.
The programme is part of the government’s plan to deliver crucial services to youth on the island.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment, Velda Joseph, stated that the reform agenda comes at a time when crime is on the rise in Saint Lucia.
“We at the Ministry cannot over-emphasize the importance of this training as we grapple with ways to address the various type of deviant behaviors and criminal activities engaged in by segments of our population,” she said. “We believe that this training is very timely and we are grateful to the donors for facilitating this workshop, which is intended to build and enhance the capacity of multiple agencies to deliver on the shared mandate within the framework of the new legislative agenda.”
Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment, Lenard Montoute, told the workshop that child protection reform has modernized the legislative climate for children in Saint Lucia.
“When we look at restorative justice practices we examine the part that builds community,” he stated. “The reform project place attention to modernizing the legislative climate for children which ensures compliance to international treaties such as the United Nations(UN) Convention on the rights of a child which Saint Lucia ratified on June 16th, 1993.”
Social Worker Debra Charlemagne stated that the restorative training programme would help the staff of the Human Services Department deal with the rapid change in child and family behaviors.
“Most of our families in society are unable to deal with the change in children behaviors. This programmme will help restore positive family morals in homes and better equip us social workers with the tool needed to do our job,” she stated.
Restorative justice is aimed at getting offenders to take responsibility for their actions and most studies suggest it makes offenders less likely to re-offend.