More and more bad-behaved girls
Rise in young females sent to department, says Chief Probation Officer
More and more young girls are engaging in deviant behaviour and are being referred to the Probation Department.
That is according to Chief Probation Officer Dorita Lovell.
“There has been an increase in females engaging in deviant behaviour and coming before the department. Usually there are a higher number of males, but we are seeing increasing numbers of females who are caught up in deviance,” she told Barbados TODAY, although not providing statistics.
Lovell also said that in addition to the cases assigned by the courts, the Probation Department was now dealing with an increased number of referrals by schools, family members, and even community groups who intervene, to not only get individuals but families back on track.
“We have quite a number of persons being referred to the department through the courts, and this came about because of . . . the introduction of community service as a sentence, and we actually had to add another department to what existed,” she said.
Lovell added that anger was one a main factor in deviant behaviour.
“Often parents cannot cope with the challenges of adolescence, and this is because they cannot identify the needs of their children; and you then find the children acting out through truancy, liming on blocks when they should be in school, getting involved in illegal drug use, and other deviant behaviour.
“We have lots of entertainment choices today. When I was a child, entertainment was church, but denying children involvement in these activities often leads to anger,” she said, adding the department dealt with individuals from as young as 11 years old. The Chief Probation Officer said her department’s job was partly to bring about mutual respect.
“We facilitate and educate because sometimes when we sit with both parent and child that is actually the first time there has been any dialogue. We show how things can be done and set tasks and equip parents with the necessary tools to deal effectively with their children,” Lovell said.
As part of the Probation Department’s week of activities, that started on Sunday with a church service at the James Street Methodist Church, personal and organizational development specialist Tony Olton was on hand yesterday to help officers equip themselves with “valuable skills”.
“The very nature of their job demands that they possess certain skills. It is on these skills that they depend to draw out and achieve excellence for themselves, the organization and those they have to help. The reality is you can only give what you have,” he said.
Leading a workshop entitled Beyond Personality, Olton, through a series of activities, sought to show how each member should take responsibility for ensuring the excellence of the entire organization.