Wednesday, September 26, 2012 – The Launch of the OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Programme here on Wednesday September 26th, represents a collective effort to strengthen the juvenile justice systems in the six independent member states.
The agreement is to be supported with funding from the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). The CBSI represents the new paradigm for the US government’s cooperation with the Caribbean on matters related to citizen safety and security.
Regional coordinator of the OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Project Dwight Calixte spoke to the objectives of this programme.
“The primary objective today is to work towards the completion of the membership countries work-plans and other supporting documents in order to meet the USAID project requirements and to facilitate access to the project funding under year 2 of the OECS JJR project cycle. As per the agreement, for us to access any monies moving forward under the project, we must first submit a work-plan – one regional and one country based work-plan for consideration by the USAID, then moving forward we can access funds for the activities we have identified.”
The programme which is a collaborative effort between the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the United States Agency International Development (USAID) program, is geared at reducing recidivism rates among youth offenders, to increase the chances of youth of reform for youth who have been in conflict with the law and to provide opportunities for them to transform themselves into citizens who contribute positively to society.