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IDB approves $8,750,000 to modernize justice system in the Barbados

The Inter-American Development Bank announced today the approval of a $8,750,000 loan to the Barbados to modernize and strengthen the administration of justice, including steps to prevent criminal behavior and to rehabilitate imprisoned offenders.

The program features innovative investments aimed at providing at-risk youth with employment and positive social skills, in addition to modernizing the justice system.

The IDB resources will help finance consultancy services for reorganization and training for the Probation Department and, for the reform school, staff training, vocational instruction, and new curriculum development. A post-release program and manuals for inmate rehabilitation will be designed for young offenders.

Limited civil works investments will renovate the existing reform school, converting it into an intensive rehabilitation center for low-risk youth. A new industrial school for adolescents will also be built to provide appropriate academic and vocation training, remediation instruction, and social counseling to prevent youth from entering into serious criminal lifestyles.

Existing agriculture and training facilities serving the prison population will be upgraded.

A modern information and document flow system will be established that will include a computerized court management system, enhancement of court reporting recording capacities, and the establishment of a sectorwide information exchange and management capability that will be overseen by the Task Force for Crime Prevention.

Collaboration between government agencies and civil society organizations will be expanded in such areas as foster care, after-school programs, youth training, conflict mediation and crime prevention.

The program will support the introduction of modern case management, in which the judge will take an active role in working with the litigants for a speedier resolution of the case, as well as alternative dispute resolution. Studies will be undertaken to evaluate feasibility of a public defender system.

The Attorney General’s Office* will carry out the program.

The IDB loan is for a 20-year term, with a five-year grace period, at the variable annual interest rate, now 7.1 percent. Local counterpart funds total $3,750,000.

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