Source: (1995) The Lawyer. Pages 24-33.

Given all the experience and evidence available, a bold step is required to deal with young offenders in this country. A proposal for an alternative method of treating those committing minor crimes and offences in this country is now considered necessary. A community-based mediation system is therefore proposed in light of: 1) The inability of the formal court route to handle such offenders efficiently.; 2) The very large number of minor crimes and offences committed annually; 3) The very large proportion of minor crimes and offences which remain undetected annually; 4) The large proportion of young offenders who fall within the category of minor crimes and offences annually; 5) The growing emphasis of the Government and in particular the Ministry of Social Services is seeking alternative ways to treat young offenders, especially those offenders with first time offences or limited crime records and who come from deprived social backgrounds; 6) The need for less emphasis on incarceration and punishment and more emphasis on community based mediation and rehabilitation strategies; and 7) The need for both offender and the aggrieved victim to form a durable community-based partnership which could possibly lead to both reparation to the victim and rehabilitation of the young offender. (excerpt)