New criminal justice board to improve administration of justice in St Kitts-Nevis

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts (SKNIS) — Attorney General Vincent Byron has explained that the newly launched Criminal Justice Strategic Board (CJSB) is designed to consolidate all the various justice related departments and agencies in a bid to create a more efficient dispensing of justice in St Kitts and Nevis.

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Attorney General Vincent Byron

Speaking on the government’s weekly radio programme, he pointed out that, based on the statistics from the police, general reporting of crime is under control and gun crimes continue to remain out of control. Consequently, the government has worked with the police to create a six-point plan to combat these violent crimes.

The CJSB, which he chairs, will assist with the administering of justice, Byron explained.

“The police are only one of the stakeholders in the process by which we have to bring the crime under control,” he said, adding that the CJSB will consolidate all the components of the criminal justice system to improve the control of crime and the dispensing of criminal justice.

In pointing to the need for the CJSB, the attorney general disclosed that there are some 60 prisoners in custody on remand and this cannot lend to an efficient justice system.

“How can we improve that to reduce that number significantly that people can have access to justice, can go before the court, be dealt with and their matter be dispensed with in a timely manner, in a reasonable time?” the attorney general asked.

“There are a number of ways in which the board can measure and bring these matters under control and so we expect that in this way, working together rather than working solo, everybody doing their own thing, now we can have, as it were, a network interlinked support for each other,” he noted.

The CJSB was launched on November 11, 2015, during a ceremony at the Police Training Complex, when prime minister and minister of national security, Dr Timothy Harris, issued the instruments of appointment to the 15 members.

During the ceremony, permanent secretary in the ministry of national security, Osmond Petty, said the CJSB “is dedicated to keeping people safe,” adding that it will also aim to “reduce and prevent crime, bring offenders to justice, re-integrate offenders into society at a lower risk of re-offending, and utilize its shared resources efficiently and in the Federation’s best interest.”

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