OECS countries are meeting in St. Lucia from today, Tuesday, March 19 to Friday, March 22 to discuss how to use credible data from social development programmes to create policies for reducing or eliminating juvenile delinquency.
The OECS Secretariat’s Juvenile Justice Reform Project, which is being funded by the USAID in the amount of US$5.8 million, is collaborating with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and UNICEF in hosting the four-day workshop, which aims to provide participants with the methodology and tools for measuring the effect of juvenile justice programmes.
Project Coordinator of the OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Project, Dwight Calixte, believes an effective juvenile justice information system can ultimately influence better resource allocation and management. And with greater fiscal responsibility member States can create a better enabling environment that may contribute to economic development: The system will generally focus on children who are in conflict with the law and the methods used to reduce it.
Data collection will include: the number of children arrested, their ages, gender, the number in detention centres, level of equity in the services provided, level of connection between the delinquent child and the community, and the type of programmes carried out to reduce the level of juvenile delinquency.
The court systems, social services, penal systems, national policy makers and youth are anticipated key beneficiaries of the information system. In addition, the reports from the juvenile justice information system will be available for public use.