As Cabinet waits for amended policy on National Service Corps, AG’s Office is to draft legislation

As violence among the Nation’s youth continues, and with several wounding incidents taking place on Labour Day, May 1, at Fort James Beach, the Cabinet is again examining ways to arrest the problem.

On Wednesday, May 3, the Executive reportedly addressed the subject, which, it claims, most often involves troubled young people.  

Two weeks ago, Cabinet announced that former Lieutenant Colonel Ivor Walker would be assisting the Government in this regard.

Walker reportedly wrote a dissertation on the subject in 2005 and proposed the creation of a voluntary National Service Corps, composed particularly of troubled youth between the ages of 15 and 21 years.

They would be taught by Defence Force personnel, with the objective of helping to reform them.

The Cabinet reportedly is awaiting the submission of the paper, as the former officer was asked to re-formulate his thesis to match the current challenges being faced by parents, teachers and schools. 

In tackling the challenge, the Cabinet says, several institutions will be required to play leading roles, including the sporting fraternity; the police and the military; the churches and schools; several government ministries; social workers and professionals.

In the meantime, the Office of the Attorney General would draft legislation to match the objective. However, says Lionel “Max” Hurst, the Government’s spokesperson, the programme will be voluntary – unless mandated by a court of law.

Some residents have said the partial decriminalization of cannabis, in addition to parental neglect, is contributing to the youth’s antisocial behaviour.

While children have used illegal drugs in the past, as has been stated by Prime Minister Gaston Browne, professionals point out that the easier accessibility – without provision for the repercussions –  is causing a problem.

The law allows persons to have 15 grammes of cannabis, for personal use, in their possession, and provides for the cultivation of four plants.

Therefore, some youth have argued that, once they are within the legal amount, nothing can be done to them.