NOC now under jurisdiction of Social Protection Ministry- Administrator

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Following a visit by President David Granger to the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), earlier this year, the institution which was formerly under the jurisdiction of the Education Ministry, is now being ran by the Social Protection Ministry, through its Department of Social Services.

A section of the NOC facility

This is according to the Administrator of the NOC, Mark Dover who indicated to INews that, stemming from the transition, the Centre will see a number of enhancements.

He noted that the Centre will take on a more reformative approach rather than just providing incarceration.

Moreover, the Head of the NOC says prior to the shift in management, the institution already had in place a number of capacity building opportunities available to the detainees so as to ensure their successful reintegration.

Nevertheless, despite the many efforts undertaken by the institution and its governing Ministry, the NOC continues to record a number of misdemeanors, especially when it comes to absconding.

Just recently 11 inmates, comprising of both males and females, escaped from the facility by stealing the keys from one of the employees. They were all apprehended shortly after.

Dover says he looks forward to the complete transition to the Social Protection Ministry. Once this is completed, the administrator hopes that such occurrences would be eradicated. 

Probed as to why such cases continue to persist, Dover explained that the inmates take advantage of periods during which the staff on ground are not to full capacity.

It is as such times that the juvenile detainees escape beyond the boundaries, he said.

New Opportunity Corps is the only Juvenile Detention Centre in Guyana, where underage offenders are institutionalized for breaking the law, rather than being subjected to harsh conditions of being placed in prisons.

At present, the NOC houses a total of 71 inmates of which 32 are males and 39 are females. These youth are all between the ages of 13-17.

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