NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe. (File photo)
By JADE RUSSELL
IN an effort to reduce the recidivism rate the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Social Services and Urban development have partnered to launch a case management system.
On Friday, the Ministry of National Security hosted a soft launch of the system.
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe said at the event “no one ministry or institution” can tackle the issue in the country without the support and involvement of other agencies.
A case management system provides offenders with the necessary rehabilitative resources, probation officers, and monitorisation as they re-enter society.
The increasing usage of case management programmes in the criminal justice system has become vital in decreasing the rate of a convicted criminal from reoffending or falling into old bad habits.
Mr Munroe said: “It makes sense strategically for the Ministry of National Security to work in partnership with the Ministry of Social Services. In supporting the department of rehabilitative welfare services efforts to reduce the rate of recidivism amongst persons utilizing this probation service. Strengthening probation services is the right thing to do, if we are serious about diverting persons or keeping them away from the criminal justice system. This is especially so when speaking about juveniles in conflict with the law.”
He added: “We want to do everything in our power to prevent young persons in particular from ending up in custody of police or other law enforcement agencies. A strong probation team is a vital part of securing this objective. Strong probation services increase public safety and security and plays a pivotal role in reducing rates of offending.”
Dr Valarie Knowles, coordinator of rehabilitation & reintegration for the Citizen Security & Justice Programme, said the case management system will serve as a quantitative tool to help make better judgements on the risks and needs of persons.
As to the development of the programme, Dr Knowles said they have trained some individuals to be officers within case management. These officers are trained to make evidence-based objective decisions along with assessing the offender’s needs.
The recidivism rate at the Bahamas Department of Correctional services is said to currently be at 18 percent.