[www.inewsguyana.com] – President David Granger has announced plans to at least once per year, review the custodial sentences of youths, especially women and young persons, in particular, for non-violent offences.
According to the Government Information Agency, the President said he feels badly about separating a woman from her children.
“I really feel that separating a woman from her children, for minor offences is not in the culture of APNU + AFC, and we should try as far as possible to keep families together”.
The Head of State opined that the time would be better spent in school rather than in jail, and “As far as possible, we should look at those cases. We know the law may have to be revised.”
He added that for misdemeanors, discretion can be applied and those culpable could be returned into the school system.
“I have asked the Minister of Public Security to investigate the emergence of some Non Governmental Organisations to do rehabilitation (of youths).”
He is also of the opinion that for persons under age 25, it would be fruitful for the government to cooperate with NGOs, “which can encourage young people who have committed minor offences to get back into the world of work.”
The President is firm in his belief that unless young offenders are violent or dangerous, they should be rehabilitated, and be contributing members of society.
As part of observances for Guyana’s 49th Independence Anniversary celebrations, President Granger pardoned 60 non-violent youth offenders.