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Courts to treat not punish

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Courts to treat not punish

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Solutions-oriented courts have been identified as instrumental to giving offenders a second chance, and are being lobbied for by the Probation Department. 
Yesterday, following a church service at James Street Methodist Church to begin activities for the department’s 68th year, Chief Probation Officer Dorita Lovell said they were looking towards the formation of these courts, such as family courts and drug treatment courts, to affect change in the youth.
She said, for example, there was need for a court to deal specially with all matters that affect children and parents, rather than having separate courts to deal with such issues.
She praised the establishment last February of the Drug Treatment Court  stating that the key word was treatment. 
“We are aware of the scourge of drugs in the island. It is important to no longer at first try to treat rather than punish. Before, we would arrest them and charge them and put them in prison, but now we are realising there is more need for treatment,” she said. (LK)