BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — On Thursday, the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved financing of US$1.4 million to the government of Grenada, to support the establishment of a juvenile justice prevention and response system. The project aims to prevent young people from coming into conflict with the law, as well as rehabilitate young offenders.
Over the period 2010 to 2014, there was a 30.5 percent increase in the number of offences committed by youth in Grenada, suggesting that there is a need for intervention. Through this project, juvenile victims and youth at risk will be targeted for diversion and rehabilitation, and also for reintegration into the labour force and society. They will also be given the opportunity to increase their life and employability skills through targeted psycho-education and training.
“Through this project, we hope to not only reform young people who have gotten involved in criminal activities, but also to teach new skills, thereby increasing employability. It is expected that this will contribute to the reduction of the high youth unemployment rate in Grenada. This is consistent with CDB’s corporate priority of improving the quality of and access to education, training and citizen security,” said Deidre Clarendon, Division Chief, Social Sector Division, CDB.
The project has four main components.
Youth Diversion and Rehabilitation Programmes
This component consists of programmes that will target youth, their families and communities. It will include the implementation of an 18-month training programme targeting 25 at-risk youth under the age of 30 in the Mount Horne community in the St Andrew parish. Training will include development of life skills and basic literacy and numeracy and Technical and Vocational Skills Training (TVET). It will also include support for the 2017-2018 cohort of REACH, the rehabilitation and reintegration programme for young inmates at the prison who are approaching the time for release. In addition, a restorative justice programme will be piloted in four schools. The schools will be selected based on those with a comparatively higher proportion of students at-risk.
Grand Bacolet Juvenile Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre
Staff members at this secure juvenile residential facility will receive training in areas including teaching social skills to troubled youth, understanding and working with at-risk youth, common-sense parenting, first aid, and self-defense. In addition, up to 25 residents will receive TVET training leading to Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) certification. This component will also include minor renovations to the facility.
Enhanced Capacity for Improved Sector Management
Post-graduate training will be provided in clinical psychology, social policy and social work for persons selected from within the main social sector ministries and agencies. The juvenile justice data management system will also be strengthened, with the aim of enhancing evidence based decision making, allowing persons within the sector to forecast which youths might be at risk for re-offending, and to develop targeted case management plans to mitigate the risks identified.
Technical Assistance – Design of a Youth Block
This component will assist in preparing designs and cost estimates for the construction of a youth block at Her Majesty’s Prison in Grenada.
This project is consistent with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development.