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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Over one hundred Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police and Prison Officers are now better prepared to address juvenile justice reform concerns and provide support to youth in conflict with the law.
The Ministry of National Mobilisation in collaboration with the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), conducted two (2) three–day training workshops for police and prison/correctional officers; one (1) one–day sensitisation session for gazetted police and prision officers; and two (2) one–day sensitisation sessions for other stakeholders in the system from February 5th to 15th, 2018.
The training was attended by 138 participants, 113 of whom were officers, at the Lecture Hall of the Police Training School from 8:15 am to 4:15pm daily and was designed to sensitise the identified officers on juvenile justice reform issues including:
– the juvenile justice system in St. Vincent and the Grenadines;
– risk and protective factors;
– the OECS draft Child Justice Bill;
– adolescent development; and
– anticipated police duties under the OECS Child Justice Bill.
With earlier JJRP support, St. Vincent and the Grenadines established Diversion, Child Protection and Parenting Coordination Units to better align and deliver services to children and their families and the Liberty Lodge Boys Rehabilitation Centre was refurbished to facilitate residential and non-residential services for youth who come into contact with the law.
JJRP II has also supported training for mental health screening and risk and needs assessment to allow more tailored rehabilitation services and; the Truant Students Rehabilitation Program was introduced in secondary schools, to allow school aged youth to gain life skills that will increase their chances of leading productive lives.
JJRP II will continue to support similar reforms, focusing on greater use of Diversion, improved Rehabilitation services and Reintegration support for youth leaving detention facilities.
This initiative was funded under the Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP) II. The main facilitator was Ms. Gloria Septra Augustus, OECS Technical Specialist of the Juvenile Justice Reform Project Phase 11.
JJRP II is a partnership between the OECS, USAID and participating Member States in the Eastern Caribbean, to expand use of rehabilitative and restorative practices, in providing services and support for children who come into contact with the law.