You Are Here: Home » News » New Juvenile Detention Facility Only Catering For 14 Years And over

New Juvenile Detention Facility Only Catering For 14 Years And over

[bitsontherun btSAW7qo]

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has indicated to the national assembly that the Juvenile detention facility at Sophia that is almost completed, will only cater for Juveniles who are 14 years and older. The minister made the revelation in the national assembly on Thursday after being pressed by PNC Member of Parliament Deborah Backer.

But when further pressed about those juveniles below the age of 14 Rohee explained that his ministry will only take responsibility for those 14 years and older. Juveniles below that age who find themselves running a foul of the law will have to fall under the responsibility of human services.

The Juvenile Offenders Act which governs Juvenile Justice does not clearly state that there should be a detention facility specifically for Juveniles. The act gives sweeping powers to the home affairs minister to determine what shall be a place of detention for juveniles. A court however on remanding a child to custody could determine to commit that person to a place of detention provided under the act instead of the prison but it is the home affairs minister who will still decide on where a place of detention should be.
There have been several cases of juveniles being housed in the lock ups and at police stations in adult holding cells with adults. Several groups have been pressing for that practice to be changed. Teenaged girls as young as 13 have found themselves on remand at the east la penitence lock up with adult prisoners. There is even the case of the 15 year old boy who has been in custody for 3 years now without being charged for any crime. The police commissioner claims that the teenager is a state witness and is in protective custody, but he has been locked away in several police stations over the past 2 and a half years.
And just a few days back an 11 year old girl who was being held in the Beterverwaghting lock up managed to walk out of the station without being noticed. She complained that she was let go after allegedly being raped by a policeman. The police force has launched an investigation into the allegations and the one policeman who was on duty at the time is under close arrest.
Cases like those have been highlighting the need according to social workers for there to be separate and proper facilities to accommodate juveniles facing action in the court. They must be protected one attorney said. And that should be a fundamental right. 

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has indicated to the national assembly that the Juvenile detention facility at Sophia that is almost completed, will only cater for Juveniles who are 14 years and older. The minister made the revelation in the national assembly on Thursday after being pressed by PNC Member of Parliament Deborah Backer.

But when further pressed about those juveniles below the age of 14 Rohee explained that his ministry will only take responsibility for those 14 years and older. Juveniles below that age who find themselves running a foul of the law will have to fall under the responsibility of human services.

The Juvenile Offenders Act which governs Juvenile Justice does not clearly state that there should be a detention facility specifically for Juveniles. The act gives sweeping powers to the home affairs minister to determine what shall be a place of detention for juveniles. A court however on remanding a child to custody could determine to commit that person to a place of detention provided under the act instead of the prison but it is the home affairs minister who will still decide on where a place of detention should be.


There have been several cases of juveniles being housed in the lock ups and at police stations in adult holding cells with adults. Several groups have been pressing for that practice to be changed. Teenaged girls as young as 13 have found themselves on remand at the east la penitence lock up with adult prisoners. There is even the case of the 15 year old boy who has been in custody for 3 years now without being charged for any crime. The police commissioner claims that the teenager is a state witness and is in protective custody, but he has been locked away in several police stations over the past 2 and a half years.


And just a few days back an 11 year old girl who was being held in the Beterverwaghting lock up managed to walk out of the station without being noticed. She complained that she was let go after allegedly being raped by a policeman. The police force has launched an investigation into the allegations and the one policeman who was on duty at the time is under close arrest.
Cases like those have been highlighting the need according to social workers for there to be separate and proper facilities to accommodate juveniles facing action in the court. They must be protected one attorney said. And that should be a fundamental right.

Leave a Comment

© 2016 Capitol News Guyana

Scroll to top