By Makeida Antonio
The final stage of the review and consultation of the Antigua and Barbuda National Diversion, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Strategy was concluded yesterday.
Representatives from the Family and Social Services Department engaged staff, probation officers, legal professionals, religious leaders and non-governmental organisations for recommendations on a draft document proposing ways to prevent juveniles in the justice system from reoffending.
The Juvenile Justice Reform Programme in Antigua and Barbuda was drafted in collaboration with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
Recommendations include increased psychosocial support for at-risk youths and their families to reduce the number of children in the justice system, and the implementation of programmes to ensure effective parenting to reduce negative behaviours seen in children.
The need for increased funding to help the department better identify and provide support to juveniles in the system was also highlighted.