Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Caution for review of age of criminal responsibility

Published:Thursday | April 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Caution for review of age of criminal responsibility


I write regarding expressed support by Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte and those who call for a review of the age of criminal responsibility.

Sir, I totally agree with Opposition Spokesman on Justice Mark Golding when he said that he was reluctant to support the review.

The heinous act by an 11-year-old that took the life of a 14-year-old recently marks a sad day in our nation's history. However, there needs to be alternative measures implemented and not a review of the age of criminal responsibility so as to prevent a reoccurrence.

Before reviewing the age of criminal responsibility, I think measures should be implemented gradually. The various agencies that are responsible for the welfare of children should be in dialogue with stakeholders on the most effective ways to move forward.

I think we should take a page from a programme in the United States called 'Beyond Scared Straight'. This is one of the programmes that attempt to deter children from a life of crime.

We could also enlist the services of our remandees who express a willingness to assist our nation's children to be upright citizens in order to avoid incarceration.