The Government of Grenada recognizes that every youth has value, every youth can earn and every youth can contribute to nation building. The children and/or youth of Grenada are crucial to its economic and social development. Though it is recognized that many of the young persons are law abiding and achieving great milestones, there are many more that find themselves in conflict with the law and need specialized care and assistance.
Recognizing the urgent need to reform our juvenile justice system, the Government of Grenada embarked on a Reform of the Juvenile Justice System which is expected to: Prevent and divert potential offenders into positive living and to rehabilitate offenders. Thus ensuring the island has more responsible youths, a reduction in offending behaviour, and fewer juveniles in prison.
The reformation process was complimented by the institutionalization of a Juvenile Justice Unit: The aim is delivering comprehensive juvenile justice services through a systematic approach. It is informed by a method that is very distinctive from the adult penal system, with a far greater emphasis on diversion from court proceedings and it is built on the rehabilitation approach.
Juvenile Justice comprises of different dimensions and a multiplicity of interventions including prevention, intervention, reintegrative and rehabilitative services.
What is a Juvenile?
Referred to anyone under the age of Eighteen (18) who has come in conflict with the justice system.
What is Juvenile Justice?
The juvenile justice system is the structure of the criminal legal system that deals with crimes committed by minors, under the age of Eighteen (18) years. A juvenile crime is any offense that could be committed by an adult but that is committed by a juvenile. In the juvenile justice system, youth offenders are not tried as adults.
Why a Juvenile Justice Unit?
The aim of the Juvenile Justice Unit is to prevent juveniles from offending and re-offending.
The Juvenile Justice Unit, as a public body, has a duty to cooperate with other public bodies to prevent juvenile crime and should monitor and review its service delivery to ensure that it is doing all it can to achieve its objectives.
The Juvenile Justice Reform Project focuses on the provision of:
- Diversion – establishment of an effective system of diversion which serves the needs of children in conflict with the law
- Rehabilitation - Establishment of a system of rehabilitation underpinned by evidence based diagnosis and treatment for children in conflict with the law.
- Reintegration - successful reintegration of children in conflict with the law, into society
These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- joint working relationship with other statutory bodies in the prevention of juvenile crime;
- provision of Diversion Assessment Reports;
- oversight of Diversion Orders;
- provision of Pre-Sentence Reports;
- supervision of all Court Ordered Interventions;
- development of Release Plans for post detention Probation Orders;
- supervision of these Plans on release; and
- Return to court of juveniles who have failed to comply with any Court Ordered Intervention or post detention Probation Order.
What makes an effective Juvenile Justice program?
- Include varied teaching methods
- Adequate duration
- Theory Driven
- Positive relationships
- Appropriately timed
- Socio-culturally relevant
The Ministerial Regulations give the Juvenile Justice Committee the oversight role in respect of the performance of the juvenile justice system. These regulations make the Ministry of Social Development, Housing and Community Empowerment the lead Ministry for Juvenile Justice in Grenada, Carriacou and petite Martinique.
The Juvenile Justice Inter-Sector Committee Stakeholders:
- Ministry of Social Development, Housing and Community Empowerment
- Division of Social Services
- Probation Unit
- Division of Gender and Family Affairs
- Grand Bacolet Juvenile Rehabilitation and Treatment Center
- Child Protection Authority
- Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child
- Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic
- Royal Grenada Police Force
- Supreme Court Registry
- Her Majesty’s Prison
- Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development
- Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and the Arts
- Ministry of Legal Affairs
What We Do?
We aim to address gaps in the current response to juvenile victimization in Grenada to promote healthy environments where all children and adolescents can be nurtured to grow and develop in safety and stability and to promote secondary and tertiary interventions, as needed, for at-risk children and children in conflict with the law.
This process will be aided by the Grand Bacolet Rehabilitation and Treatment centre, which is currently being used as an alternative to Her Majesty’s prison for youth in conflict with the law.
Grand Bacolet Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre
- Screening & Assessments, e.g:
- Therascribe is a modern integration case management tool which is linked with various entities involved in the Juvenile Justice System.
- Therasribe operates through the use of trusted assessment tools for the assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) and The Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument (MAYSI) for screening and treatment of juveniles.
- Psycho social interventions and life skills training, e.g :
- Aggression Replacement Training (ART)
- This is a multimodal, prescriptive, outcome based intervention which provides advanced techniques to change cognitions, behaviours and emotions.
- This programme is managed by the Legal Aid and Counselling Clinic and is currently available for youth who come into conflict with the law and is part of the Courts and Probation Unit diversion programmes.
- Aggression Replacement Training (ART)
- Academic courses/ programmes:
- Enrollment in Homeward Bound Programs
- Skills training including barbering, farming, and vocational
- Sporting activities with community
- Career guidance
- Pre-release community services
- Support by Faith Based organization
- Public service announcement video David’s Story. "David's Story" chronicles the life of the title character, before and after getting into conflict with the law.
- Additional sensitization materials
The Juvenile Justice Reform Project Phase II
Building on the first Juvenile Justice Reform programme, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) through JJRP 2 seeks to strengthen the juvenile justice system to promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth in conflict with the law back into society.
Efforts supported by JJRP 2 includes but is not limited to; Increase use of Diversion and Alternatives to custodial sentencing, Provide Services to Foster the Rehabilitation of youths in conflict with the law and the Reintegration of youths in detention back to their families and communities.
Consultancies and workshops to develop a National Policy on Juvenile Justice and Review of the Juvenile Justice Unit in Grenada were completed in October, 2018. JJRP 2 works with a wide variety of stakeholders including multiple Ministries and NGOs. This program will continue to introduce and implement a number of reform measures that, taken together, will result in more modernized systems of youth justice in Grenada.
"A NEW PATH TO CHANGING LIVES FOR GOOD" (OECS JUVENILE JUSTICE PROJECT)
The Memorandum of Understanding
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Grenada on Tuesday May 28th 2019.
What does this mean for Grenada?
This solidifies the agreement regarding the cooperation on the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Project II between the Government of Grenada (GOG), The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and The United States Agency for International Development Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission (USAID/ESC). This will result in a more modernized system of youth justice in Grenada.