March 7, 2021

Youth at Boys Training Center get cinematography training through Juvenile Justice Reform Project

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By Tracey Warner-Arnold Branding & Marking Consultant for the OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project II, and Grace-Ann Cornwall Head, Social Development Unit, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

Friday, January 22, 2021 — In seeking to provide innovative and practical learning opportunities to youth in the child justice system, the Saint Lucia Boys Training Centre is now offering a new technical skill to their residents.
In partnership with the USAID/ OECS Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP), Dove Productions and the Saint Lucia Boys Training Centre established a new 12-week cinematography programme for youth in the facility. 

13 youth are currently being trained in scripting, writing, lighting, filming and interviewing, and it is anticipated that through this programme the trainees will gain a sense of value and confidence and develop an employable skill. The JJRP purchased the video equipment to facilitate this training programme to ensure that cinematography can become a permanent part of the overall rehabilitation programming at the Boys Training Centre. The JJRP is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented by the OECS Commission. The current students have completed six weeks of training, working on numerous video production skill sets. The JJRP public relations video linked to this press release is their first major production to be partially produced by some of the students, which required them to assist in the filming, conducting interviews and editing.

One of the trainees in the programme expressed how much he looks forward to the classes and that he will continue to build his skills through more practice. In speaking about the multiple benefits of the programme, Mr. Colin Weekes, programme leader indicated,

“Dove Productions aims to give back to society, advance the film industry in the Caribbean, help to develop model citizens and provide an avenue for these youth to earn a living.”

Mr. Sonson, head of the St. Lucia Boys Training Centre, shared,

“The Boys Training Centre has been around for 60 years providing a road to rehabilitation and reintegration for those young boys who have not been diverted from custody. We provide with a chance for change through counselling, numeracy and literacy courses and a number of other technical programmes. We have 13 boys in this cinematography course which gives the boys options…to develop technical skills. This programme supports our goals of developing the boys to a level where they can successfully assimilate back into their communities and become productive citizens.”

About OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project Phase II (JJRP)

The Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP) Phase II, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and being implemented by the OECS Commission, deals specifically with children in conflict with the law and the provision of diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration mechanisms for assisting children in the six (6) OECS independent Member States of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Over the four years of JJRP Phase II, some key achievements include:

  • Child Justice legislation passed in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • A Legacy model and framework to guide the use of diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration has been developed and is being adopted in all of the countries.
  • Diversion and rehabilitation options being actively supported within partner countries.
  • Since 2016, 323 children have been diverted/given alternatives from arrest or custodial sentences, representing a more than 300% increase in the use of diversion.
  • 215 children in conflict with the law completed Aggression Replacement Training (ART®).
  • Over 1,400 service providers have been trained to improve the diversion, rehabilitation, and reintegration services provided to children in conflict with the law and their families.

For more information regarding the OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project Contact: JJRP Office at the OECS Commission +758-455-6417 email: [email protected]

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