NASSAU, BAHAMAS – In her first address to the Senate, newly appointed Senator Lisa Bostwick-Dean pledged her commitment to addressing issues plaguing young people and juveniles throughout The Bahamas.
Bostwick-Dean was appointed to the Senate on Tuesday and took the oath of office in the Upper Chamber yesterday.
Throughout her contribution, Bostwick-Dean pointed to incidents she encountered during her career as an attorney regarding the lack of juvenile justice and the rights of the child being abused.
She said while she has been a part of a team that has attained several leading judgments of national and regional significance, there is a clear need for legislative changes with regard to the prosecution of juveniles.
“Someone must speak for them,” Bostwick-Dean said.
“We have to have a Supreme Court dedicated to juvenile matters, that’s extremely important
“We must be able to remove juvenile matters quickly through the courts without delay.
“Their very future and their lives depend upon us discharging that duty to them.
“There needs to be implementation of child diversion measures, in dealing with children who come into contact with the law.
“And there needs to be separate facilities for juveniles who come in contact with the law, with proper rehabilitation programs and homes that are suitable for adolescents, teenagers, and young adults as they transition to independent living.”
She added while she will seek to tackle youth issues, she will also use her platform to address other integral concerns throughout the country.
“While I’m passionate about youth issues, my concerns include protecting our environment, growing our economy, ensuring equal opportunity for all Bahamians and integrity in public life,” Bostwick-Dean said.
“Madam president, you indicated that I now have a national platform, I hope to be able to use this platform to speak to some of these things that are concerns to me, that I come into direct contact with and I witness and experience the impact of the need for these structures to which I speak.”
The newest senator is the daughter of former Senate president John Henry Bostwick, and Dame Janet Bostwick, the first woman elected to Parliament.