State-Of-The-Art Juvenile Detention Centre For Saint Lucia – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Saint Lucia will house a unique juvenile detention center that Equity, Justice, and Social Empowerment Minister Joachim Henry expects to become the best in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Henry visited the former George Charles Secondary School building in Castries on Wednesday.

The government plans to transform the site into a juvenile detention center.

“This site will become the best, the most novel, responsive juvenile centre in the OECS region,” Henry stated.

He explained that the institution would address current problems, including wards absconding.

The centre will become the new home of the Massade, Gros Islet-based Boys Training Centre (BTC).

The BTC, established to provide care, protection, and rehabilitation of vulnerable young boys in Saint Lucia, has been plagued by management, staff, and security issues, including wards absconding.

However, Henry said the planned new juvenile centre would not repeat the problems at the BTC.

The Minister drew attention to site clearing at the location of the former George Charles Secondary School.

He asserted that there was space to accommodate boys and girls instead of having five or six persons at the Upton Gardens Girls Centre and a few females at the Transit Home for Girls.

The Minister said having all those institutions cost a lot of money.

“We also have sleeping quarters for the staff if they have a double shift. We have space to accommodate those who are in conflict with the law if the committee decides that we have to maintain them because the law doesn’t allow them to go to Bordelais (Correctional Facility),” Henry said.

He explained that the youngsters would be secure, protected, and served well.

“We have space to have the best counseling room. We have space for recreation,” the Castries South East MP declared.

Henry said technical work regarding the new institution, including its architectural design, was ongoing.