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Judge: Funding needed for success

marciadottin, [email protected]

Judge: Funding  needed for success

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JUSTICE RANDALL WORRELL yesterday called on businesses to contribute to the funding of the Drug Treatment Court.
The former defence attorney said that private entities could not complain about vagrants and addicts around Bridgetown and still not assist in the efforts to eliminate the problem.
“The private sector cannot on one hand be heard to complain about the addicts who have become vagrants and pests in Bridgetown, harassing and committing petty crimes on both locals and cruise and long-stay visitors, and not be involved in the buy-in . . . ,” he said.
Justice Worrell explained that studies had shown that the underfunding of treatment could be a major cause for failure of such courts but those which were properly funded produced better results.
He said that adequate funding and the availability of proper treatment and counselling facilities were critical to the success of any such court.
The judge, who chaired the steering committee of the Drug Treatment Court, felt that even at a time when Government might be financially stretched, it still needed to ensure that the Probation Department was properly staffed if the emphasis of the court was to be rehabilitation.
He pointed out that initially, the court was being set up without any additional Government expenditure since it was using current magistrates, prosecutors, court facilities and the Forensic Science Centre. The savings, he reasoned, could be used to employ at least one additional probation officer or to set up a satellite office of the Probation Department within the precincts of the Supreme Court Complex.  
Justice Worrell also pointed out that in order to assist participants, treatment centres must be functioning well, so that places like the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternatives and Verdun House needed to be well-funded and be operating at maximum capacity.  
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite pledged his full support to the court.
“I can guarantee you, once I have anything to do with this project, we will do it with excellence,” he told those on hand at yesterday’s opening.
He also lauded the fact that there had been a broad-based approach to ensuring the court came to fruition, where several entities had worked together to ensure the success of the project.