Officials Begin Process To Rehabilitate New Horizons Centre

Touring party outside the New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Renovations to the New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre are set to begin in the second quarter of 2024, in keeping with the government’s pledge to move forward the juvenile justice system.

Touring party outside the New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre.

A delegation featuring the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, accompanied by Minister of State responsible for Social Development, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, and other support officials from the ministry toured the juvenile facility on Friday (February 23, 2024), to get a scope of the work needed to reopen the centre. Director of the Public Works Department (PWD), George Gilbert, Director of Physical Planning, Jay Farrier, as well as staff from the New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre, made strategic interventions during the tour and shared useful insights to expedite repairs and enhance the functional capacity and comfort of the juvenile centre when it reopens.

Minister of State Phillip said the grouping of the tour was intentional so that everyone is on the same page.

We need to get this centre reopened this year because this is part of our juvenile justice system – it is actually legislated by the Court,” said Honourable Phillip. “It is really the only priority capital project for the ministry … because we want to make sure that we can renovate whatever is minimal so that we reopen for use while we work on other [projects] and the expansion of the facility.”

The comprehensive tour covered every section of the buildings including dorms, recreational areas, classrooms, bathrooms, washrooms, dining rooms, kitchen, security station, and holding/detention structures, as well as the farming area, and outdoor gym. Remedial work includes areas such as electrical, window replacement, plumbing, roof tile reinforcement, and more. The bathrooms also need refurbishment.

After the tour, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Hanley said that there are a number of “low-hanging fruits” to be addressed. He thanked the PWD and Physical Planning Department for their commitment to the project.

They have given us the assurance that they are onboard and we are going to start the work so that before the [2024-2025] school year begins, we can once again house our juveniles at the facility,” said Dr. Hanley.

The deputy prime minister added that he was very impressed with some of the work done by the residents of New Horizon and it was important that they maintain the skill training programme to help the individuals to reintegrate into society after completing their sentence.

The New Horizons Rehabilitation Center was closed in December 2022.

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