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‘Raise Your Voice’ Wants More Results From OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Project

img: The six OECS, 15 CARICOM and 12 Commonwealth Caribbean member-states will be expected to come out of the current 37th CARICOM Summit, under way in Guyana, with plans to address the expected Brexit Caribbean blowout, which offers both challenges and opportunities for new relationships with Britain and the EU.

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 the youth of this country.

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