OECS Media Release
Monday, April 12, 2021 — Over 200 youth who were resident at the Grand Bacolet Juvenile Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre in Grenada have been rehabilitated and reintegrated through a comprehensive programme. The Bacolet Center’s programme which commenced in 2016 provides a secure environment for children who come into conflict with the law and/or need care and protection. The Centre offers many alternative avenues to address the complex needs of the young persons, from psychosocial therapy to specific skills training. The centre takes a holistic approach to supporting and rehabilitating the youth who come into conflict with the law.
The USAID/OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP) has provided the Centre with ongoing training for staff members to improve the services provided to children, civil works to enhance the facility, and equipment to support the various programmes. Two new projects will see the Center provided with new musical equipment for an in-house music programme and an education lab that will offer technological and other inputs to improve and customize education delivery to children.
According to the Programme Manager, Melisse Ogilvie
“ The support of JJRP over that last five years had been instrumental in furthering our programmes and the capacity of our staff members, enabling us to broaden the scope of our centre and offer a wide range of support to our youth. Our new collaborations are even more exciting as we are starting our new music programme, which is proven to benefit the juveniles in conflict with the law. Offering a new skill that can help these youth with reintegration and potential employment opportunities, as well as boosting their self confidence is a win win for everyone. We have had great success with children gaining CXC subjects and a few starting small businesses and I believe the education lab will only enhance the children’s outcomes.”
Speaking on the benefits of the various training initiatives, Dr. Debbie Neckles, Case Manager at Grand Bacolet believes:
“JJRP has supported our centre and me specifically with many training initiatives that have aided in the efficient functioning and better management of children in our care. Some of the training programmes included MAYSI and SAVRY training which are important assessment tools. We use MAYSI to assess the potential risk for the children upon entry which helps guide the development of their treatment plan. I have also had trauma training which has helped me and other staff members to understand how children’s trauma impacts their perceptions and decision-making process. When we understand trauma, we are better able to tailor our treatment to meet the children’s needs. We truly appreciate the training support from JJRP as it has made us better in executing our roles.”
As JJRP, USAID, OECS and The Grand Bacolet Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre collaborate, the ultimate goal is to benefit the youth in conflict with the law. Although there are numerous success stories emanating from Grand Bacolet, the story of one young man who developed a successful small business stands out. He shared that
“After four stints at Bacolet, I was tired of getting in trouble with the law, I finally decided to allow the staff to help me. I learned discipline, how to manage my attitude, money management, how to write properly and a lot of skills like farming, and then they gave me a start to do car washing and that is why I am running my business today.”
About OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project Phase II (JJRP)
The Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP) Phase II, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and being implemented by the OECS Commission, deals specifically with children in conflict with the law and the provision of diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration mechanisms for assisting children in the six (6) OECS independent Member States of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Over the four years of JJRP Phase II, some key achievements include:
- Child Justice legislation passed in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
- A Legacy model and framework to guide the use of diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration has been developed and is being adopted in all the countries.
- Diversion and rehabilitation options being actively supported within partner countries.
- Since 2016, Over 440 children have been diverted/given alternatives from arrest or custodial sentences.
- Over 215 children in conflict with the law completed Aggression Replacement Training (ART®). Trainers trained by JJRP now deliver ART® within each country.
- More than 1,400 service providers have been trained to improve the diversion, rehabilitation, and reintegration services provided to children in conflict with the law and their families.