Joint Press Release: “We will be listening – Child advocates lay out expectations …”

“We will be listening – Child advocates lay out expectations for Ministers Hanna and Bunting’s presentation in sectoral debates.”

Monday, June 17, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica – Child rights advocates expect that Ministers Lisa Hanna and Peter Bunting will use their sectoral debate presentations on June 18th and 19th respectively, to provide the following:

1) The comprehensive updated plan for juvenile justice reform, with specific measures to be implemented including timelines for, but not limited to, the following:
i. The removal of girls from adult prisons into appropriate facilities for children
ii. The removal of a correctional order in the Child Care and Protection Act as an option for children who are deemed “beyond control.”
iii. The creation of community interventions to divert children away from the criminal justice system.
2) A presentation of the specific data used to justify the plans to retrofit lock up facilities for children at 14 police stations in 12 parishes. This should include a special focus on the first 5 police stations with an announced expenditure of $75million. This is important because the data currently available does not support such a move.
3) Clear timelines and plans for consultation with stakeholders for the review and amendments to the Child Care and Protection Act and the Corrections Act.

“We will be listening for plans indicating a paradigm shift from a punitive model to a preventative and rehabilitative strategy,” said Alexis Goffe, member of the Child Rights Working Group. “These plans must be specific, data driven, cost effective, have measurable outcomes and timelines and, above all, must be in the best interest of our children.”