Youth among the expected key beneficiaries as OECS Member States work towards a Juvenile Justice Information System

Dwight Calixte

(Castries, Monday, March 18th 2013) OECS Member States are to meet in Saint Lucia from Tuesday March 19 to Friday March 22nd 2013, on how to use credible data from social development programmes to further inform 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 US5.8 million, is collaborating with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 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 Juvenile Justice Information 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.

Calixte says the creation of a Services Map is among the expected results of the four day workshop. He described the planned discussions as a move towards integrated services to help document where the Juvenile services are, who are involved and what information is collected at each of those points so that the resultant service can be better able to provide more targeted support towards the rehabilitation of and re-integration of our juveniles for the betterment of communities.

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