The question arises: Why does the “Children’s Authority” have over 900 inmates? The answer is simple. The Government disbanded the St Michael’s Home for Boys and neglects the Youth Training Centre (YTC) for young law-breakers.
This Government has a history of closing down or disbanding any entity that doesn’t make a profit to maintain itself or is a strain on the national coffers.
In this case it’s not about strain on the national economy, it’s about youth development and the advancement of society, service to humanity.
In any age of human development, there is always juvenile delinquency; that has been part of the development of humans. There are always cases that are too much for the parents to handle, hence the need for some institutions to assist, by proper guidance and the teaching of trades.
What trades do the Children’s Authority have in their curriculum, what is their policy on corporal punishment? We need to know.
The answer is certainly not to lump all the difficult children together under one authority and treating them all the same. Some are young criminals and others with just bad behaviour.
We have a history in this country of closing down good institutions and traditions, i.e. throwing out the baby with the bathwater eg Caroni, Petrotrin, Iscott.
The failure of Iscott was really about lack of resources and poor management—the Indians took it over and competed on a world scale.
What about National Service for Youth to replace the decline in Scouting and Boys Brigade, etc.
Some youth are more difficult than what mother and father can handle, but currently what the State provides makes matters worse instead of better.
The whole matter of correcting youth has to be re-thought in this country; some former institutions have to be brought back more humane than before.
We cannot accept lack of money as the excuse when it’s really a lack of vision.