Pubdate: Fri, 23 Nov 2007
Source: Antigua Sun (Antigua)
Copyright: 2007 SUN Printing & Publishing LTD


Regional experts associated with probation services will gather in 
Antigua next week for a workshop that will seek to devise 
alternatives to incarceration.

The conference is set to run from 26 - 28 Nov., at the Jolly Beach 
Resort. The conference is organised by the Caribbean Drug Abuse 
Research Institute and supported by DrugScope UK and the University 
of Kent, UK. The workshop is also supported, in part, by a grant from 
the UK government's Department for International Development.

The main focus of the workshop will be looking at diverting low level 
and petty offenders from incarceration and utilising community 
service as an alternative. Several local practitioners from the 
Probation Office and other governmental and non-governmental 
organisations will form part of the Antiguan delegation. 
Approximately 30 overseas participants are expected on island.

Head of the Probation Unit, Junie Ruddy, said the conference is a 
follow-up to a local conference held here earlier this year, which 
sought to develop alternatives to incarceration.

During the three-day conference, delegates will seek to set up 
successful alternatives, sentencing regimes, involving the community 
in identifying community-based sentencing projects, using 
community-based organisations to monitor offenders in the community 
and identify the special needs of vulnerable individuals who become 
offenders. An official opening ceremony will be held on Monday and 
Minister of Housing and Social Transformation Hilson Baptiste, under 
whose portfolio the Probation Unit falls, will deliver remarks and 
declare the workshop open.
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