“Strive to be better young men and women and use what is being taught here to you as a stepping stone to further your studies and do greater things when you leave this facility.” was the message given to the children at the Juvenile Holding Centre, Sophia Georgetown by
the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ms. Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas on Wednesday.
During an impromptu visit to the facility, Thomas along with the Director of the Juvenile Justice Department,Mrs. Joan Ann Edghill-Stuart listened to some concerns and needs of the youth.
It was highlighted that among some of the challenges being faced, there was need for more technical training and sporting activities such as football.
According to Mrs. Edghill-Stuart, there are currently seventeen (17) children at the facility, two of which are females. She noted that the Juvenile Holding Centre assists with rehabilitation and reintegration. The centre has a programme of activities in counselling, education, spirituality, sports etc. These programmes are conducted by staff and in collaboration with partners. Additionally, all juveniles remanded to the centre are being offered legal representation free of cost by the Guyana Legal Aid Department via a partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF).
Further, a psychoeducational assessment is done on all Juveniles housed at the facility, that way; they can be placed in the right level of training.
The Juvenile Holding Centre was established on 1st May 2011, emphasising rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles into their communities. With the enactment of the Juvenile Justice Act in October of 2018 and the Juvenile Justice Department, which falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Juvenile Justice Committee has oversight for the Juvenile Holding Centre.