Call for juvenile detention facility in Dominica

Augustus believes there is a need for a juvenile facility in Dominica

Technical Specialist with the OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project,  Gloria Augustus has said the establishment of a juvenile facility is a great need in Dominica.

She was delivering remarks at a three-day workshop for Police and Prison officers on Juvenile Justice Reform held at the Police Training School in Morne Bruce on Monday.

According to Augustus at present, there is no detention facility for juveniles in Dominica.

“In Dominica, we have no detention facility for juveniles,” she said. “CHANCES is not a detention facility as some people think, the place in Jimmit, OYQ [Operation Youth Quake] is not a detention facility.”

Augustus noted that juveniles who have to go through the court system are taken from adult courts.

She stated it now means that “we build small rehabilitative facilities for boys and girls.”

“We improve architecture, so if we have them there for a while, we have to ensure that we follow them after and also we have re-entry programs when they get back into the communities,” she stated. “It means engaging and educating youth.”

Augustus noted that throughout the OECS, when it comes to juveniles, Magistrates have few sentencing options, or even intervention, where the needs of the community, the victim and perpetrators are discussed and dealt with the hope of eventually having juveniles go back into the community.

“Some of the reports that we get in the islands in terms of the report on the child is wanting, in that not much information is given on the child’s background, social, economic and mental situation which could provide useful information in guiding what is required to help in the rehabilitation of that child,” Augustus stated.

She said a person’s criminal record or “what you do as a young person” can affect life chances.

“Even when the matter goes to court, is prison the best option?” she remarked, referring to juvenile cases. “Because we don’t have a facility sometimes we have to send them to the prison, and if there are facilities, what happens there? Do we only feed them there? What programs can we do to help them, to rehabilitate them and to re-integrate them back into their communities when their time at the facility is over?”

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10 Comments

  1. Malpardee
    August 31, 2017

    Instead all u get a proper hospital for the country all you talking about juvenile center. Prorities people. DOMINICA NEEDS A HOSPITAL!

  2. Truth Be Told
    August 23, 2017

    But you well late! Dominica keeps putting its children in prison with adults, a very sad state of affairs!

  3. anonymous2
    August 23, 2017

    Good luck with this project. It may help deter some of those headed for a life of crime.

  4. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    August 22, 2017

    I agree with you. The prison is no place to incarcerate them; not among adult prisoners and some older ones.
    I have always endorsed that juvenile delinquents should be rehabilitated to prepare for their return to society. Hopefully they will not re-offend and become model nationals.
    We must take into consideration that some juveniles did not receive the proper nurturing. Granted, some could have been disobedient, wayward and truant in addition to associating with bad company, the reason(s) why they became juvenile delinquents. They do need a second chance to spend some time at a juvenile detention facility.
    If there is one, the authorities could work with parents as well to help rehabilitate them prior to being released.
    This is a project which I expect will also be addressed to the PM to build such a facility for juvenile delinquents who are sentenced for crimes they committed. They are not beyond rehabilitation with the proper guidance and counseling.

  5. The Darkness
    August 22, 2017

    How about changing certain laws?

    Children and teenagers are committing heinous crimes and are getting a slap on the wrist…

    Adults who commit certain crimes to and in front of children should also be charged…

    Before you can suggest a change, be able to construct a change within yourself…

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      August 23, 2017

      The authorities should also meet with the parents. You should know some parents need parental counseling and guidance.
      Just as marriage, some people have children with no clue how to nurture their children. Generally children re-act in the manner they are treated. Some think shouting at them, calling them names, even cursing them will make them obedient.
      Some of them do not know who their father is and/or where he is. Some fathers disregard the children they helped conceive. Their fathers are dead-beat ones.
      Much has to be done to change this situation. I concede it will not be an easy matter.
      Nationals should provide their suggestions how best this situation could be rectified; not criticisms.
      Imagine a dog could be trained but it is difficult to train human beings, adult and children. The task is not an easy one.

  6. August 22, 2017

    Decent parenting is a greater need.

  7. August 22, 2017

    Rightly said Ms Augustus, housing juveniles with elder nefarious elements, can have tremendous repercussions for the youth as he/she gets hardened in the system. Your observation of his/her background, i believe, should be the first requiem in passing judgement. The good lady touched on the social,economic and metal problems, when child abuse is added , we end up having a destroyed youth, having to find his/her way on their own. More voices need to be added to the perils of what the disadvantaged youth have to under go. Bob D

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      August 23, 2017

      Children are the future generation. They are the future adults. If they are not properly nurtured what will happen to society in the future? We are already noticing what this could do to society, to the nation, not only in D/ca but elsewhere in the world.
      I heard through the Toronto Media that their are many young girls with children who are seeking home shelter. Many underage ones have babies while attending school. The government will help them financially. Some will get a place to stay.
      A new law is, if they are underage, whether they have children or not, they must remain with their parents. The government will not give them accommodation.
      What happens to those babies they mothered and what will happen? They are in no position to properly nurture their children. Whenever I observe a young girl with a baby in a pram or even though the child is a little older, I often wonder, they are babies and hopefully loved, what will they become when they grow older?

  8. jaded
    August 22, 2017

    I agree that a juvenile detention facility is needed in Dominica.

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