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By Shanique Richards

St. Kitts Reporter

Word around town is that a new juvenile correctional facility will be built shortly. Therefore the Observer took to the streets to hear society’s views on the upcoming venture.

What are your opinions on the implementation of a new juvenile correctional facility and what would you hope to see when it is opened?

Carl Brown, J.N. France Hospital – My opinion is that it is a good idea to have a correctional facility like the Harris’ Home we had previously. However, I feel that it is wrong for them to open a boys’ home again because we have a lot of crime happening here with the youths in general, not only males, so I think it should be a ‘youth’ correctional facility. I think that we should send them to a rehabilitation center instead of sending them to jail and this will also help them to learn some skills and trade. The only concern is that I would like to see is a facility built for both males and females.

Jasmine Clarke, Village – I think although we have a juvenile center it is not necessarily true that we can have the entire young population transformed into good men and women. It is a fact that some young people have a mindset that cannot be broken and gets even worse after being put away and taught things they have no interest in learning.

It is also true that there are those that can be changed and most times they learn skills and attitude that take them a long way after they return to society. Overall, I think that it is a good idea and that we need to have some sort of influential body to guide them while they are in this facility. However, these influences must not only be positive at the facility but positive in general, they must act as mentors for our youth. It is very difficult to try to change someone if that person cannot follow his or her own example.

Micaela Fahie, Island Rhythms – The way the young population is going today is not good and it is about time they thought about bring back a correctional facility. The prison itself is presently over-populated and this is because there is not a place for our youth. It is best if we separate the youth from the older criminals because this is the only chance we will have at saving them. When they are sent to jail for minor offenses they will be influenced by those who have been involved in more serious crimes.

Therefore, it is only a matter of time before they too are returning for a more serious offences. This is a good idea and it will help a lot of young men to get the opportunity to return to society and make a positive contribution. However, I hope that whenever this is put into place there is more security at this center and a lot more guidance for our youth.

Sean Seabrookes, SKN Vibes – In any instance where we have too many incidents of crime and violence amongst juveniles it is very critical that we have some sort of rehabilitation facility for their correction. But at the same time, it does not make any sense to have an institution without the proper medium or avenues to execute whatever objectives they have because I am sure that the primary objective would be to put them on the straight and narrow path and to carry them away from their deviant behaviors.

Yes it is a good idea to have an institution of that sort but there must some sort of guidelines to ensure that the objectives are being met. It does not make sense to have it there and it’s just for name sake. I hope to see consultants, police and the society all come together and make it work but it is all work in progress.

Shavia Gardiner, Parson Village – I think that having a juvenile correction facility will be a great idea. I remember when my mother use to tell me stories about the previous Juvenile center which was the Harris’ Home in Saddlers and from what I heard it use to have a positive influence on the youth there and most of them returned to society and made a contribution. I think that it will benefit the country in many ways and the crime rate will decrease shortly after it has been built.

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