GOVERNMENT TO ENACT LAW FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM

 

The Government of Dominica will be enacting modern legislation in order to have select legislation respond more appropriately to more societal trends. 

Minister for Youth Development and Empowerment, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Seniors Security and Dominicans with Disabilities Honourable Dr. Adis King says the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) harmonized model bills; these are the children care and adoption bill and the child justice bill, which will better cater for children who are likely to infringe on the laws of these state.

“Dominica is now closer to enactment of the family model bills. Let me emphasize, that there are certain primary goals of the Juvenile Justice System. These include diversion, rehabilitation, addressing treatment needs, and successful reintegration of children back into the community. Research has shown that adolescents, because of their identity confusion are less able to make informed decisions that require consideration of the long term consequences. This is evident in the types of crimes being committed by children and as indicated, theft is one of those crimes topping the list,” Dr. King stated.

Dr. King explained that children who violate the law must be held accountable and restorative justice is an important aspect of the child justice bill which attempts to repair the harm caused by a crime.

“It is interesting to note that the OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project in this cycle focuses on diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration. One of the models for change initiative, adopted by certain jurisdictions is diversion. This focuses on programs to divert or redirect children away from juvenile justice systems, processing of matters and also includes programs that divert children from detention in a juvenile justice facility,” Dr. King added.