Blackmoore said a holistic plan is needed to improve the prison setting. File photo

Minister for National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore has said there is need to take another look at the prison setting in Dominica and to establish a family court.

He is of the view that juveniles should not be housed together with adult inmates.

“I think that we have to relook at the prisons and put in place a holistic plan to develop the prison setting,” he said. “We are moving from one area to the next, where we have to start talking about family courts, where we can have a standard way of having family matters dealt with within the court system including the juveniles”

According to Blackmoore his ministry has to go to the point where there is a juvenile facility outside the domain of the adult setting, “so that we can have specialized programmes for our young people.”

He went on to say that young persons have no place within a prison setting unless it is absolutely necessary.

“Most times that is determined by the gravity of the offense that young person has committed,” he stated.

Meantime, he revealed that government has already approved the setting up of a family court.

He noted that the requisite infrastructure is needed for the effectiveness of the family court, namely a separate facility to house young offenders and independent Counselors to deal with issues confronting people.

“When a young person commits a crime, that young person wants to be told, we want to help you and that is what we are hoping to do with you,” Blackmoore explained.