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Some 130 young probationers from across the island are participating in the 5th staging of the Department of Correctional Services’ Challengers Camp now underway at the new Montpelier Juvenile/Remand Correctional Centre in St. James.
The central aim of the 10-day residential camp, which began yesterday (Aug.16), is to stimulate the minds of each camper in a productive atmosphere, so that he/she may be motivated to use challenges to create opportunities.
It will cost the Correctional Services some $850,000 to stage the camp, which will focus on different aspects of behaviour modification, while rehabilitating and empowering the young people.
Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese, who addressed the youngsters, said that the staging of the camp is motivated by the belief in the promotion of non-custodial sentences.
Stating that the aim is to assist in the “reconstruction” of young offenders, he told the campers that, “you all can have a chance at real change and development, new possibilities and getting past your past and become new, so that the chances of re-offending is remote”.
He urged the campers to learn as much as they can from the experience, acquire and perfect new skills, and formulate a disciplined lifestyle to overcome those behaviours that cause problems with the law.
He expressed the hope that the youngsters will find the camp to be productive, educational and enjoyable.