5 Jun 2004

Solomons public solicitor defends young offender push

9:11 am on 5 June 2004

The public solicitor in Solomon Islands is defending his call for young offenders to get special treatment in jail.

A 15-year-old boy has been remanded in custody, being kept for 23 hours each day in his cell at Rove Prison, but the rules have since been relaxed to 20 hours a day in cells.

Ken Averre says young offenders need to be segregated from those in maximum security conditions.

This is despite many young males being charged with serious crimes during the recent conflict.

"He's not the only person in that prison to be charged with murder, however, he's specifically from the Weather Coast, from what is termed as a conflict situation, but at the end of the day he's fifteen years of age, and you have to weigh that up against the risk which he poses, in terms of any changes to his detention."

Ken Averre says he needs to have some idea of how conditions for young offenders will progress before he can apply for bail in the case.