OASYS Project Continues Drive for Enhanced Youth Justice: Follow-Up Workshop Focuses on Program Effectiveness and Collaborative Strategies

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Following the successful continuation of efforts to strengthen youth justice initiatives, stakeholders have reconvened for a pivotal follow-up workshop under the Opportunity to Advance and Support Youth for Success (OASYS) project. The workshop, held on February 13, 2024 aimed to address crucial aspects of diversion, rehabilitation, and reintegration programming, building upon discussions initiated during the January session.

The follow-up workshop under the Opportunity To Advance And Support Youth For Success (OASYS) was held on Feb. 13.

Highlighting the significance of comprehensive programming, Brenda Wilson, OASYS National Coordinator, emphasized the need for tailored interventions that address the diverse needs of both genders within the youth justice sector. “It’s important that in sentencing, in diverting and doing pre-diversion and prevention activities that we are in a position to have the types of programming that address the needs of both boys and girls, men and women in the youth justice sector,” Wilson remarked

Attended by officials of critical agencies including the Police, Probations, the Courts, the Boys Training Center, Welfare & Human Services, and the Transit Home, among others, the workshop focused on discussions aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of existing programs, identifying areas for improvement, and exploring innovative interventions to expand support options for young people facing conflict with the law.

Bernice Francis, Deputy Manager of New Beginnings Transit Home, emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration among social agencies and a standardized referral system. “A lot of the times the agencies involved look at the referral system as just the intake form or the referral form, and there is no follow-through or monitoring or even evaluation of how the client has met the requirements or what is the outcome of that client,” noted Francis.

Dr. Stephen King of the non-profit agency RISE Saint Lucia underscored society’s collective responsibility in nurturing young individuals’ development. “The bottom line is that there is a need for us as a society to understand that we are all involved in this process and we must all commit to developing the institutions that support our children and their development so that we can have the types of healthy development that we desire.”

Discussions during the workshop emphasized the urgent need for improved coordination among agencies and the importance of holistic support frameworks that encompass monitoring, evaluation, and follow-up procedures. Participants reaffirmed their commitment to collaborative efforts to effect positive change within the youth justice system.

The OASYS project, funded by USAID and overseen by the OECS Commission, remains dedicated to fostering transformative initiatives that promote the well-being and rehabilitation of young individuals involved in the justice system.

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