Boys to men
A FACILITY FOR young, non-criminal offenders will be undertaken – funds permitting.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite made the disclosure on Tuesday morning, while speaking to the media at the Inspiring Change: Boys To Men workshop at the 3Ws Oval.
“One of the difficulties in Barbados is that when we have a young boy or girl who is having issues, and the court finds that they cannot send them back to their homes, they end up going back to the Government Industrial School because there is nowhere else to send them,” he said.
“In the ideal situation, I would like for us to have a facility that can house ten boys and ten girls maximum . . . Our last statistics suggest that we have about nine boys and seven girls who are at the Government Industrial School for non-criminal offences, and . . . we could have a facility that can house these individuals and still be able to give them the structure, schooling [and] guidance . . .”
Brathwaite reported that he has already approached the Ministry of Housing and Lands to find a location, but the funds to build the facility would be challenging.
A parole system was also in the works, he added, a project which also depended on funds.
“That is something that we will do but we need to have structures in place and it means additional resources in terms of training and personnel. As you very well know, you will need parole officers and they will need to be trained [and] space in terms of a building. And when we do do it, [there will be] electronic monitoring of offenders . . . ,”?he said.
“I can’t tell you when we are gonna do it, but I will tell you we have bought into it and that we would like to do it, and again it is a question of resources and when you would be able to do it.”
Tuesday’s workshop, aimed at teenaged boys, was hosted by the National Task Force on Crime Prevention and was attended by students from various secondary schools. Presentations were made by social workers, law enforcement officers and counsellors.
In his address to the attendees of the seminar, the Attorney General urged the boys to make meaningful friendships and show love to their male friends “in a manly way”.