Child Protection Concerned About The Way Juveniles Are Locked Up With Adult Offenders
Child Protection services is raising concern once again about juveniles suspected and charged for running afoul of the law being housed in adult lock ups. An official at Child Protection Services today told Capitol News that juveniles should be placed in an environment that must not put them at risk.
But that is exactly what has not been taking place. A police officer attached to the Beterverwaghting Police station remains under close arrest after an 11 year old girl who was being held in the locks on a wandering charge complained that she was raped. The Police force has launched a full scale investigation.
A medical examination on the girl revealed that there were signs of sexual activity. The girl according to the police was able to walk out of the station although she was in custody and go home to her parents.
Just last week, this newscast highlighted the plight of several teenage girls facing various charges who are all housed at the East La Penitence lock ups in the general population with adult women who are facing far more serious charges.
But the problem is this; there is still no proper detention facility for juveniles. At least not one that is operational just yet.
In Sophia, this newly constructed building will serve as a detention facility for juveniles who are on remand and facing various charges in the court. Girls would be housed in the top half while the boys will be housed in the bottom. But work has been ongoing on the building for years under the Home Affairs Ministry. It remains unclear when it will even open its doors as corrective works are now slated to begin.
PNC member of Parliament Deborah Backer who is her party’s spokesperson on security matters is worried that juveniles are still being housed with adults at various stations and lock ups. She said while there is a facility to accommodate young boys, there is still none for young women.
Its an issue, the attorney and member of parliament believes ought to be given more attention since the rights of the children in custody ought to be respected.
There have been various complaints about how children are treated once they run foul of the law. Even for minor offences they find themselves thrown into various lock ups and made to live alongside suspected criminals. It’s an issue that several human rights groups locally have been complaining about.