Police’s hands-off approach to juvenile offenders is due to lack of structures to support the Child Justice Act, Azille explains


REAL NEWS-An educator is expressing the opinion that the structures which need to be in place to support certain legislation are not.

The Child Justice Act was implemented to deal with the reform of youth who run afoul of the law and to establish for child-offenders a system that is based on restorative justice.

However, concerned adults are questioning its effectiveness, with some accusing police officers of adopting too much of a hands-off approach when dealing with delinquent young people.

But, contrary to the belief of many, the Act does not render the police powerless, says Ashworth Azille, principal of the Clare Hall Secondary School.

Rather, he says, they are hampered by the lack of support for the legislation – since certain structures, to date, have not been put in place.

Azille references the Youth Intervention Centre, which reportedly is under-resourced.  He commends the officers in the Unit for working in less than favorable conditions and with no proper resources; but he says it is nonsensical to introduce legislation without having the resources required to make it effective.

The principal points out that a proper place to hold offenders under the age of 16 years is not even in place – other than the prison. Therefore, the police are forced to release them into the custody of their parents while matters are proceeding to have a case heard.

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  1. We forget Comfort Hall? This place has been run to the ground and I have heard efforts being made to revitalise it which is commendable. Their need to be more than one place, however, since mixing the smaller one with bigger ones only allow for bad influences.

  2. When all this youth violence reach home, then you will get some action. Right now, not their kids, so nothing to do with them

  3. Too often we start issues of delinquency with the police. Where is family responsibility?
    Are we concerned that there is very little family worship service in our homes, no encouragement of Bible reading, lack of disciplinary systems in the home, parents who can not or refuse to parent, or a system that makes it difficult to do so.
    If we ever decide to extend the school day, how many teachers would even agree to that.
    Unfortunately we all know the answer until the answer depends on us.

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