#Bahamas, November 9, 2017 – Nassau – “It is not a place to be,” said Acting Director of Social Services and Urban Development, Lillian Quant-Forbes. “I have seen young men, 14, 16, up there. That bothered me; that affected me. How is it that a young person can commit murder? When we see the impact it is having on us as a nation it gives me concern.
“A young man who has allegedly committed murder affects the family of the person who was murdered, the family of the young man who is serving time. I beg you to stay on the straight and narrow road. It will not lead you wrong. Many of you go to church. Many of you are brought up in homes. Sometimes you want to try it for trying sake. Listen to the still small voice in your head and go the other way. Be the change that you wish to see in this country.”
The Acting Director shared this passionate experience of a recent visit to the Department of Corrections with high school students at a Juvenile Forum, Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at the Harry C. Moore Library, University of The Bahamas. The Forum is one of the activities planned to mark Rehabilitation Week being observed from November 6-13, 2017.
She implored the students to focus on strengthening their character which will lead to positive changes, improve the quality of their lives and divert them from identity issues, self-destruction and conflicts with the law.
“When you have your hand in the hand of the man who is the policeman that’s not a good place to be,” she said.
The Acting Director outlined the mandate of the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services to help individuals who are in conflict with the law or who have had contact with the Criminal Justice System. She said the Department has the responsibility to provide such individuals with coping mechanisms, which are necessary to become functioning members of society.
Ms. Quant-Forbes highlighted the dangers of cyber bullying and social media referring to the behavior demonstrated on networks as “disturbing” and cause for concern. She urged them to protect themselves, their good names and focus on school work.
She expressed concern about the number of gangs in New Providence and the Family Islands, the violent crimes they are committing that are affecting the moral fabric of communities, thus the need for the Juvenile Forum to allow them to make better choices and form healthy relationships.
Presentations were given by: Superintendent Mark Barrett on Cyberbullying; Assistant Commissioner Ken Strachan on Gang Violence; and Sandra Coleby, Principal Nursing Officer on Sexual Health.
By: Kathryn Campbell
Header: Pictured from left at the Juvenile Forum: Quintin Gray, Assistant Director; Sandra Coleby, Principal Nursing Officer; Willann Mills, Probation Officer and Lillian Quant-Forbes, Acting Director.
Insert: Lillian Quant-Forbes, Acting Director, speaks at the Juvenile Forum during Rehabilitation Week.