New Horizons Offers Fresh Start for Young Offenders

Basseterre, St. Kitts, (SKNIS): Residents of the New Horizons Rehabilitation Centre for juveniles will soon begin a skills based programme targeted at developing vocational and community-oriented disciplines.

The initiative is being introduced via a two-week Easter programme, which ends on Friday (April 18) and includes training in agricultural science, business administration, construction, electrical engineering, hair and beauty, masonry, music, plumbing, and pottery.

Director, Adele Williams says the programme is part of the center’s focus on rehabilitation, which is supported by the over 7 million dollar Juvenile Justice Reform Project, a joint initiative of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The center is the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean.

“This is the first service that is looking at a therapeutic, rehabilitative programme for children that is not just catering for their social welfare needs but for their psychological, emotional and educational needs,” said Ms. Williams. “A lot of the children that come here have lacked structure, parenting and understanding of basic morals of right and wrong because those kinds of things haven’t been taught to them. We’re hoping to break this pattern and help to give them a different mindset.”

New Horizon’s policies, operational procedures and curriculum were developed through research done at the University of the West Indies and is being used as a model institution for other OECS member states.

The center is still undergoing upgrades, which when finished, will feature two classrooms fully equipped with smart-boards and state of the art audio-visual equipment, a computer center, library, recreational rooms and sporting facilities.

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