Page last updated at Friday, March 4, 2011 13:13 PM //
The Juvenile home in Koforidua serving the whole of the Eastern Region has not been operational for two years now due to the breakdown of facilities at the place.
Mr Andrew Owusu Mensah, Programme Head for Justice Administration of the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in the Region, revealed this to the GNA after a review meeting on preventing and combating all forms of violence against juveniles who fall in conflict with the law in justice institutions.
He said the department was forced to close down the home because juveniles brought there more often absconded due to the break down of the main gate at the entrance of the home.
The meeting was organized by Passionate Care International in collaboration with Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child and Plan Ghana, with funding from the European Union.
Participants were drawn from the Judicial Service, Department of Social Welfare, Police Service, Prison Services and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
Earlier in a report, Mr Mensah noted that the DSW had offices in all the 21 Municipal and District Assemblies in the region with the exception of Akyemmansa.
He said officers as part of their duties visited the police regularly to ascertain for themselves whether there were juveniles in their cells.
Mr Mensah noted with regret that all juvenile courts in the region with the exception of Akyemmansa and Yilo Krobo Districts had not been properly empanelled since August 2010.
He said that situation arose as a result of a directive from the Chief Justice for personnel above 65 years to be withdrawn.
Mr Mensah therefore called on the Chief Justice to take a second look at that directive since it was greatly affecting the dispensation of justice as cases kept piling in some courts.
DSP Mrs Eunice Annor, Regional DOVVSU Commander, stated that from September 2010, the Police Ladies Association (POLAS), had built modern juvenile and female cells at the Regional headquarters and handed them over to DOVVSU to improve upon the juvenile justice system.
She called for total commitment of all stakeholders towards juvenile justice and appealed to the government to provide all necessary logistics and infrastructure for institutions that rendered juvenile justice administration.
Ms Gloria Anyasombe from the Judicial Service, observed that instead of remanding juveniles, they were now being remitted on bail to their parents or guardians, adding that the procedure had reduced the unpleasant encounters they were having.
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Eastern Regional Juvenile Home not operational due to lack of facilities