Reduction in juvenile crime and violence across CARIFORUM States is one of the expected outcomes of a five- day workshop currently being undertaken here entitled: “Case Management for Persons Working with Juvenile Offenders.”
The Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit (RIDU) is the focal point for the workshop which commenced on Monday, July 22nd, 2019 at the Sunset Shores Hotel conference room. RIDU is collaborating with CARICOM to host the workshop with funding from the European Union. To this end, Deputy Director of Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, Maxwell Charles, said “the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit is proud to be the focal point and the facilitators of this workshop”.
The RIDU Deputy stated that in some countries across the world juvenile crime is on the increase therefore “prevention and proper case management, when they offend, are of paramount importance if we are to continue to reduce crime and violence in the region and more so here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”. He encouraged participants to learn as many skills as possible during the workshop and wished them a successful workshop.
Co-facilitator and Project Manager at CARICOM Secretariat, Louis Dodson, explained that the region is endeavouring to embrace alternatives to incarceration thus capacity building has become a critical priority. “Therefore, the objective of this workshop, among others, is to build capacity of justice sector and law enforcement officials for case management of juvenile offenders towards increased consideration for alternatives to incarceration”, Dodson stated. He emphasised that for juvenile offenders, “imprisonment should be a last resort”.
Dodson disclosed that the workshop is being held as part of several strategic initiatives aimed at reducing recidivism and promoting social inclusion and reintegration of juvenile offenders. According to him, the workshop is being held as part of the Support for Crime and Violence Prevention and Social Development initiative which is a component of the 10th EDF for CARIFORUM States.
Lead Facilitator of the workshop and former Probation Officer, Ann-Marie Elbourne-County in sharing an overview of the workshop, said participants will be introduced to case management under the umbrella of restorative justice. She said they will be going through risk assessment and developing a case management plan which will then be sent to the relevant authorities for action.