“Juvenile Justice Bill allows for humane alternatives to incarceration” – Min. Ramjattan – fully endorsed by National Assembly – truancy and wandering to be decriminalized

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, April 26, 2018

The new Juvenile Justice Bill is poised to provide a better quality of life for young offenders. This is according to Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, who said that the Coalition Government is seeking to strengthen the system, making it responsive to the youth and their situation.

He took this position to the National Assembly today, when he presented the Juvenile Justice Bill 2018, for the second time.

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan.

“In this day and age, we have to provide a humane alternative to incarceration for young lawbreakers. This certainly will help them avoid falling deeper into a life of crime,” Minister Ramjattan said.

The Bill, which was notably endorsed fully by both sides of the house, makes provision for those alternatives, the Minister explained.

“Other alternative sanctions or diversions can come from the newly created office of the Director of Juvenile Justice. It will be up to the creativity of the office to come up with more innovative diversions which must, of course, ensure the young offender is dealt with in a manner appropriate to his or her wellbeing,” Minister Ramjattan explained.

The Juvenile Justice Bill seeks to amend and consolidate the law in relation to criminal justice for juveniles and make provision for proceedings with respect to young offenders and provide for the establishment of facilities for the custody, education, and the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

According to the Bill, “the evaluation shall include an assessment of the cognitive, emotional, psychological and social development of the child.”

It is expected to decriminalise offences such as truancy and wandering and deal with issues of youth sentencing.

Minister Ramjattan had said that these are economic crimes, which young people should not be penalised for.


By: Alexis Rodney


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