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Bunting commits to closing Horizon juvenile centre

Published:Thursday | June 20, 2013 | 12:00 AM

ONLY FIVE female juveniles remained at the Horizon Remand Centre as at June 16, National Security Minister Peter Bunting has revealed.

At the same time, Bunting said yesterday that there has been a reduction in the number of female juveniles from 74 to 44 within the last year.

"I am committing that within a few months we will close the Horizon juvenile facility," the minister said.

The minister, who was making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, said he was hopeful that the Government would separate juveniles from the adult population in correctional facilities by yearend.

He said contractors have been selected and renovation work has recommenced on the South Camp Road Correctional Centre, which is to be used to house juveniles.

"While this is good, the more important objective of this administration is to minimise the number of juveniles who end up in the correctional facilities. The truth is that when that happens, it is often reflective of an individual or cumulative failure of the family, school, community, health services and the social services," Bunting said.

"I am not excited about building more facilities for juveniles, even though it is necessary. What I am excited about is fixing the system, and diverting most of these young persons from ending up in the correctional systems," Bunting said.

He said that as at January 2011, the number of juveniles at Horizon stood at 35.