Attorney General, Adriel Braithwaite??listens attentively to China’s new Ambassador to Barbados, Xu Hong, today during a courtesy call, at his office in??Wildey,??St. Michael. (A. Miller/BGIS)

The accommodation of juvenile offenders, and the number of young persons involved in gangs and criminal activity, are engaging the attention of Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite.

He made this disclosure today during a courtesy call from China’s new Ambassador to Barbados, Xu Hong, at his office in Wildey, St. Michael.

In outlining his concerns with regard to Barbados’ juvenile justice system, the Attorney General pointed to the current housing arrangements for juveniles between 12 and 17 years.

China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Xu Hong, points out the features of a traditional Chinese lantern, which he presented??to Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, during a courtesy call at the Ministry. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

"One of the challenges we’re experiencing is that the accommodations for them are around 100 years old, and we’re having a serious challenge in finding resources to build a young offenders centre," he said.

Of equal concern was the placement of some young persons at the Government Industrial School. "You have a young boy or girl who might have come into the court system because he or she is having problems within the family setting; then he or she is placed in an institution with persons who committed a criminal offence. This is not the tidiest of arrangements, and is one of the challenges we need to address," Mr. Brathwaite emphasised.

The Minister also focused on the issue of gang activity among the youth, and suggested that "creative strategies" had to be found to "channel their energies elsewhere".

"Over the next few weeks we’re going to re-look what we’ve been doing and see how we can improve," he stated.

The Attorney General and Ambassador Xu also discussed several areas in the judicial and legal sphere in which Barbados and China could cooperate.

Barbados and China established diplomatic relations on May 30, 1977.


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