Government Considers Alternative Means Before Sentencing Young Offenders


Attorney General, Steadroy Cutie Benjamin on Friday, met with Principal Court Research Consultant, Fred Cheesman and Regional Consultant Jacqueline Sealy-Burke, to discuss a proposed Pre Charge Diversion Policy regarding youthful offenders for Antigua and Barbuda.


Jacqueline Sealy-Burke said that the policy acts as an intervention and remedial measure to prevent persons from being charged and subsequently enter the prison system. She added that the proposed policy is being drafted and Antigua and Barbuda should consider adopting the policy.


Burke further mentioned that rehabilitation programs are necessary for prisoners if they are expected to be incorporated back into society.


Cheesman added that a Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program should also be explored.


“This program which runs for 16 weeks and has a syllabus for that period, encourages persons to think change. Participants work in a group on assignments which are designed to change the way they think about crime”, Cheesman noted.


The Attorney General fully supports the implementation of the proposed Pre-Charge Diversion Policy for Antigua and Barbuda. Benjamin added that once the relevant document is received and reviewed the necessary work will be done to have it implemented.


He said that it is his vision for the Intervention Unit of the Royal Police Force of Antigua to be fully equipped and for the officers to be trained to deal with the proposed policy and programs to be implemented.

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  1. This is a good idea, but we still need to be strict on Antigua and Barbuda youth that violate our national rules, customs and laws. We need to allow school administrators to be more strict in schools, some of these kids think they have freedom to do anything. Also, we need stricter standards for school uniforms and we shouldn’t allow students to bring mobile phones to school – all they do is chat and waste time on stupid social media.

    There is a lot of potential in the youth of Antigua. As long as the Antigua and Barbuda youth are polite, kind and respectful to all people in our country, then we will be fine as a nation. If a youth makes a mistake (everybody has made some mistake in their youth) then we should give them a 2nd chance without giving them a life permanent criminal record. I support this idea.

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