The National Task Force on Crime Prevention (NTFCP) is running a comprehensive crime reduction campaign aimed at Barbados’ most valuable resources – its young people.
According to acting Director Kim Ramsay, its genesis is in the need for a “more hands-on approach” to dealing with crime and delinquent or anti-social behaviour.
“One such method,” she explained, “is the front-end or pre-incarceration approaches, which include programmes developed for at-risk persons.”
“In fact,” added Ms. Ramsay, “a growing body of evidence points to the effectiveness of such programmes in reducing recidivism as well as diverting persons away from a life of crime.”
Thus, NTFCP is facilitating a dispute resolution and conflict mediation programme for at-risk secondary school youths and their parents, which will run from October to December. It will be conducted by trained clinical psychologists.
A similar programme was run as a pilot project at the Government Industrial School for Boys and proved to be a big success; up to 60 percent of the inmates exhibited positive changes in behaviour. This led to the extension of this programme to vulnerable youths attending secondary schools.
A day-release curriculum for two single-sex groups, it is structured to assist both students and parents in successfully developing dispute resolution and conflict mediation skills. The student sessions will run concurrently with the parent group meetings.