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Juvenile Holding Centre not a “conducive” environment – official

first_imgHousing teens who have committed minor crimes with juveniles who are on remand for capital offences and other serious crimes, is neither conducive for the rehabilitation process nor healthy for the teens’ psychological development, an official of the Social Protection Ministry has opined.The Juvenile Holding Centre in Sophia, Greater GeorgetownThe official said the juvenile holding centre should not have these teens that are on completely different end of the spectrum amalgamating, since behavioural patterns are easily conveyed.“When a juvenile is arrested for a serious crime, they should be placed in a different place from other teens and the rehabilitation process should commence immediately from when they are sent to the centre,” the official stated.This rehabilitation process, the official disclosed, has not been integrated into the system and teens would in essence “just be there waiting on their court dates.”According to the Juvenile Offenders Amendment Act, which was passed two years ago, the Public Security Ministry may establish and maintain as many centres as may be necessary as the holding centres for juveniles for the reception, care and custody of children and young persons under the orders of the court or for any other appropriate reasons as the Minister may determine.“They need to have a conducive environment for these teens, on both ends. I’m not saying all is bad in the centre… we are trying with the resources that we have but the main issue is that they have to be separated,” the official said.The official added that based on the present state of the centre, it can be deduced that the centre is not favourable for the teens.Reports are circulating that the teens in the facility were fashioning weapons from bed frames and abusing the staff by throwing faeces on them. The teens, which were placed in the facility for serious crimes, have been openly violent to staff, Police Officers and other teenagers.Several days ago, three teens escaped from the holding centre; two have been recaptured while one is still on the run. One of the teens was charged for attempted murder. Acting Crime Chief Hugh Jessemy told Guyana Times on Tuesday that the Police are working on some leads in the case but they are uncertain of their authenticity.The escaped teens used a cutlass and a piece of wood wood to dig a hole in the lower flat of the building to get out of their cell. After they escaped the cell, they jumped the barbed wire fence and fled.last_img read more