Governor General, Dame Calliopa Pearlette Louisy, in her delivery of the Throne Speech to Parliament today highlighted significant moves by the Government of Saint Lucia to address crime. Of particular importance is reference to electronic monitoring which will allow authorities to effectively place persons under house arrest or restrict their movement through monitoring, usually accomplished with ankle bracelets.
These measures have been implemented for years in the United States and other countries, greatly cutting down on incarceration costs. (Electronic ankle bracelets allow authorities to monitor the location of persons who have them fitted rather than imprisonment).
In her speech addressing these new bills she said,
“Mister President, Madam Speaker, these initiatives outlined above will be supported by the enactment of critical legislation by the end of this parliamentary year. The Witness Protection Special Measures Bill seeks to protect the identity of witnesses who may be at risk should they testify or their identity be known. (See page 31)
The Electronic Monitoring Bill will reduce the number of persons sent to our correctional facility on remand, particularly young offenders.
The Electronic Crimes Bill aims at preventing criminal activities perpetrated through an electronic system, and facilitating the collecting of electronic evidence relating to criminal activity.
Then there is the Child Justice Bill which will establish a criminal justice process for children accused of committing offences that aims at protecting the rights of children as provided for in international Instruments. It would establish the minimum age of criminal responsibility and establish a procedure for assessment of children as well as an initial inquiry as compulsory procedures. The Bill will incorporate diversion of cases away from the formal court procedures, will ensure that children are tried in the family court and extend sentencing options available in respect of children. Above all, the Bill will entrench the notion of restorative justice in respect of children.”
Governor General’s full Throne Speech below.Throne Speech – Opening of 2nd Session of 11th Parliament April 25, 2017