There has been a repeated call for a regional approach to tackling crime and social violence that is homegrown, while recognising that the historical method of punishment and incarceration is not working.
Addressing crime will also require increased collaboration among regional law enforcement bodies.
These were some of the recommendations from a panel of specialists who participated in a regional town hall meeting on the opening day of the three-day seventh biennial law conference organised by the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy for Law at Hilton Barbados on Wednesday.
Sentencing patterns and the use of pre-trial detention have not changed in the Caribbean since the 1800s, said Dr Janeille Matthews, deputy dean of the Law Faculty at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). She cited research by a law student at Cave Hill, conducted in association with the law faculty and the University of Leicester.
“In large part we keep doing what we have always done so that many of our well-intended attempts at reform end up resembling what was proffered 50, even 85 years ago,” she said. (HH)