New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation


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What careers can I pursue in juvenile justice ministries?

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I will enter college as a First-Year Transfer. Again the right to legal assistance is recognized. Juveniles are entitled to a swift justice process, protection from self-incrimination, appeals of findings, interpreters if necessary, and finally to privacy throughout their proceedings. Finally, Articles 40 3 and 4 formally recognize the important distinction between the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems.

Using Systemic Thinking to Transform Juvenile Justice in the United States

Whereas adult systems are primarily penal in nature with some exceptions for rehabilitation , the juvenile rehabilitation process is designed to educate and reintegrate. Section 3 requires a separate justice process for juveniles, a minimum age of responsibility, [7] and alternatives to prosecution. The third area of CRC focus relevant to juvenile justice is education. Signatory states agree to make primary education compulsory and free to all, encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, make general and vocational education available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as offering financial assistance in case of need.

Although applicable to children in general, the education provisions are not limited to traditional institutional instruction. In other words, as a right, education must be made available not only for children in the classroom but also for children in contact with the law. The application of this provision in a practical setting is examined in Part IV A. In the context of juvenile justice, the rights to education and recreation encompass far more than classroom instruction and playtime. Children in contact with the law require full rehabilitation and preparation for their eventual social reintegration.

CRC Article 29 perhaps best expresses the need for children to develop and prosper as part of society, calling for:. The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups. This can be a tall order, particularly for post-conflict nations that have a myriad of pressing reconstruction issues see Part III. Often, the focus in states emerging from armed conflict is on immediate economic and security needs — or in some cases the very survival of governments — and not normally on comprehensive educational strategies for children in contact with the law.

Juvenile Justice Reform in New York State

Unfortunately, myopic planning can lead to inattention and neglect, effectively passing the problem to the next generation. In other words, the failure to address juvenile delinquency in the short term eventually leads to more adult crime in the long term, crime that once again competes with juvenile justice needs for resources, and so on and so forth the cycle is repeated.

The CRC serves as an important break in this cycle as it pushes the right to childhood education and by extension rehabilitation and reintegration to the forefront, making it equal with other sacrosanct rights and freedoms. In doing so, the CRC can play an important role not only in guaranteeing the education of children — both in and out of custody — but also in reducing adult criminal activity. At least in theory, CRC signatories can no longer sacrifice juvenile rehabilitation in the face of other social needs. The CRC is an important international tool in the promotion of strong juvenile justice and child protection policies.

CJCC Using Data to Understand the Juvenile Risk & Needs Landscape

It provides minimum fundamental rights, due process and educational standards for children, and includes children in contact with the law in its mandate. The efficacy of the CRC, however, is dependent upon a second structural component: national legal regimes. The next section discusses constitutional and statutory provisions of Iraqi law that govern the care of juveniles. In addition to setting forth its own protections, the CRC requires state parties to supplement its provisions with national laws and procedures on the treatment of children.

Beginning with a common baseline, each signatory state can tailor its own juvenile justice and child protection policies to reflect national traditions and legal cultures. Iraq itself has no shortage of laws or legal tradition. The administration of juvenile justice is governed by two key documents: 1 the Iraqi Constitution, and 2 Law No.

In Iraq, the basic rights of Iraqi citizens — including children in contact with the law — are guaranteed by the Constitution of Iraq. Section 1, Articles 5 and 13 1 establish the rule of law. Section 2 also prohibits torture and establishes judicial process for investigations and detentions. These general guarantees correspond with CRC fundamental rights provisions, and indeed with tenets of democratic governance around the world. Moving from broad fundamental rights into the more specific areas of due process and education, the key legal provision is the Juvenile Care Law of In its preamble the law states:.

The Juvenile Care Law shall aim at restricting the phenomena of juvenile delinquency through protecting the juvenile [from] delinquency as well as adopting him socially in the community. The Juvenile law expands on fundamental principles enumerated in the Constitution, establishes a Council of Juvenile Welfare discussed in Part II C , sets up administrative provisions for establishing rehabilitation schools, evaluating juveniles, and early detection of delinquent behavior, and provides the legal framework for investigating, adjudicating and rehabilitating juveniles in contact with the law.

Although the original version of the Juvenile law predates the CRC, the parallels between the two are unmistakable. Part IV of the Juvenile Care law contains due process provisions, establishing procedures for the investigation and trial of juveniles. Part II establishes schools of rehabilitation while Parts V and VII provide for the rehabilitation of adjudicated juveniles and for their release and reintegration. After international and national legal provisions, the third component of the Iraqi juvenile justice system is the administrative aspect, or the role of the implementing agencies.

Under the Iraqi legal framework six government departments — three to a great extent and three to a lesser extent — are responsible for the administration of Iraqi juvenile justice. The Iraqi judicial branch, under the High Judicial Council HJC , is responsible for the investigation, trial, and adjudication of juveniles in contact with the law.

Three other ministries play smaller roles. The Council establishes a template for interagency cooperation in juvenile justice matters, [16] and brings together the various agencies assigned juvenile justice responsibilities and is empowered to adopt an annual juvenile policy, recognize houses of rehabilitation, and make recommendations for the prevention of juvenile delinquency. In Iraq the administration of juvenile justice is a multi-department effort governed by constitutional principles and the terms of the Juvenile law.

The efficacy of the juvenile justice system has, however, been impacted by various historical challenges. In the past 30 years Iraq has faced serious internal and external challenges to the successful administration of its juvenile justice system. A nearly perpetual state of war, vertically organized bureaucracies, and a shortage of international attention to juvenile justice have proved difficult to overcome. It also brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

Within days the Iraqi army withdrew from Kuwait, returning to a nation still crippled financially and psychologically by the Iranian conflict. Finally, on 20 March , the second massive air assault in just over a decade began. For almost six weeks a coalition of forces attacked Iraqi targets. Saddam Hussein went into hiding. In December he was captured near his hometown of Tikrit. Three years later, on 30 December , Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity.

A long period of conflict and destructive totalitarian rule was over. But the Iraq that emerged was damaged both politically and economically. Displacement, unemployment and continued violence have pushed economic and security issues to the forefront. Along with reducing the American military presence in Iraq, improving the economic and security situation has been the primary concern of the government and the Iraqi public since the fall of Saddam.

This concern tends to dominate the public discourse and consume available resources — both from domestic budgets and international aid. Unable to compete for these scarce resources, issues like juvenile justice sector reform have necessarily had to wait. As a result, both the law and infrastructure for juvenile justice administration are somewhat out of date. In addition to the damaging effects of nearly continuous conflict since , the Iraqi juvenile justice system — like Iraqi governmental processes in general — suffered from the imposition of a vertical administration [20] in the Saddam Hussein regime.

Rather than promote a cooperative government bureaucracy that shared information and responsibilities across departments, Saddam enforced strict centralization and chain-of-command loyalty that minimized independence and supported his own personal rule. Professor Charles Tripp explains the challenges to bureaucratic process:. On the one hand, an elaborate and complex bureaucracy developed, affecting the lives of Iraqis in all spheres. Formal procedures proliferated, requiring mountains of paperwork and an army of officials to work the system — a system which placed great stress on conformity, on strict spheres of responsibility and on meticulous attention to the details of form and discipline.

The very complexity of the state and party bureaucracies made it difficult for any one official to gain an overview of the whole since their immediate task was to fulfill their small role in the larger apparatus — or face the disciplinary procedures which were so prominent a feature of the process. The web of complex procedures thus drew individuals into an operational straightjacket, making them vulnerable to those who effectively controlled state power.

The regime imposed a level of complexity that not only required numerous, compartmentalized civil servants, but also kept those civil servants isolated from one another, unable to view government process as a whole. Tripp continues:. The elaborate bureaucracy of government agencies, state-run enterprises and organisations formed the public state of Iraq. This was the real nexus of power. It stood behind all public state organisations, turning their hierarchies upside down and answering to a very different set of commands. Given the relatively large number of government agencies involved in the administration of juvenile justice see Part II c , it is easy to see how the vertical, chain-of-command structure of the Saddam years led to systemic dysfunction.

Furthermore, it was not only the bureaucracy that suffered from a highly centralized governmental structure. It was not until that judicial independence was guaranteed in the Iraqi Constitution. Though abating, the legacy of vertical, compartmentalized government is apparent today. The bureaucracy in Iraq is still highly hierarchical and compartmentalized. As discussed in Part IV, this phenomenon has made juvenile justice administration difficult.

Because of the numerous agencies involved, poor communication and lack of cooperation can have a particularly paralyzing effect. Vertical administration also increases the potential for corruption, as there are fewer checks and balances between agencies and less interagency oversight. The final challenge to Iraqi juvenile justice development can be described as a blind spot in the foreign assistance blueprint. Although many governments, non-governmental organizations, and other aid groups focus on the distinct aspects of criminal justice and child protection in Iraq, there has been relatively little programming specifically dedicated to their overlap: juvenile justice development.

This disconnect means that international attention to criminal justice normally entails technical assistance for adult prisons and prosecutions, while child protection efforts typically focus on underserved minor populations that are not in custody, such as refugee, internally-displaced or disabled children. The harmful effect of this inattention to juvenile detainees is twofold. The failure to specifically identify them in foreign assistance programming ignores the fact that often this is not the case. Although housed in secure facilities, juveniles in Iraq do not always receive adequate education, nutrition or medical care.

Second, inattention from international donors makes it easier for violations of detainee rights to go unnoticed. Adequate juvenile justice administration requires not only effective rehabilitation of detained children, but also monitoring of those who work with detained children. In effect, the less the international community engages the specific population of children in contact with the law, the greater the risk of humanitarian crises within the system.

If the international and national framework for juvenile justice is in place, the practical application of juvenile justice in Iraq has been, because of numerous external and internal factors, a less than straightforward process. Scarce resources, a hobbled bureaucracy, and international inattention have made compliance with international and local mandates difficult at best. As Iraqis and the international community adjust to a post-conflict Iraq, many systemic challenges persist. However, post-election stability — in terms of security and the rule of law — can offer a path to the improved administration of juvenile justice in the country.

What must now emerge is a clear Iraqi strategy for the effective administration of Iraqi juvenile justice. The promotion and protection of the rights of children remained a major challenge during the reporting period. Access to essential social services is a daily challenge to the community as a whole, with particular impact on children. Detention of children and young people in adult detention centres and the lack of specialized centres and community-based programmes for their rehabilitation continue to require immediate government attention.

Children and adolescents in contact with Iraqi security forces continued to be exposed to physical and psychological ill-treatment, particularly upon arrest and during the early stages of investigation. The criminal justice system places an overwhelming weight on confessions and detained children are almost inevitably subjected to some form of violence by investigators with the aim of obtaining a confession.

Children are likely to spend lengthy periods in pre-trial detention in violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards on juvenile justice. Key actors, service providers and institutions lack knowledge of modern juvenile justice procedures. The social support systems are inadequate, obsolete and under-funded. Emphasis added [26]. The concerns voiced by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq UNAMI with regard to inadequate rehabilitation, police violence, lengthy detentions, and an out-of-date juvenile care law are troubling because they are exactly the type of problems the CRC is intended to prevent.

The following discussion of the facility is based on my notes from site visits between December and July , and other field research. It is co-located with a residence for homeless boys, and both facilities are operated by MoLSA. The section for girls houses both pretrial and post-adjudication detainees as a general population usually about girls total , and it is common for one or more detainees to have a child living with them in custody.

The physical plant of the facility is in decent condition, but electrical power is inconsistent. Like many facilities in Baghdad Province, the connection to the national power grid is unreliable and backup power generators are necessary. During most visits of two to four hours, the power went out at least once. Power outages damage equipment and can make the intense summer heat uncomfortable and unhealthy for the residents. This is in part due to the fact that teachers expect premium or danger pay for teaching at detention facilities and, for whatever reason, neither MoLSA nor the MoE pay the additional stipend.

As a result, the job is left to facility staff who are able to provide little more than remedial Arabic instruction. Another apparent inequity in the system relates to recreational activities. The girls remain inside the small compound for most of the day and there were no reports of regular physical fitness activities. From a socio-cultural perspective, the detention of juvenile girls appears to be somewhat less accepted than the detention of boys. This may explain why girls in detention appear to receive less attention.


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MoLSA officials have reported that there are not enough resources to track down family members. Outside aid groups do provide reunification services, but with an ever-changing population at the facility there is no guarantee that detainees will be in regular contact with their families, a significant element of successful rehabilitation.

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From the adjudication perspective, some of the girls appear to be held for extended periods in pre-trial detention. Normally, the transfer of property between two government ministries would be an unremarkable event. This transfer, however, was another matter. Format Paperback. Condition Brand New. Description This book has three enlightening sections regarding juvenile recidivism, administrative services and treatment methodologies.

Massachusetts Gives Juvenile Justice System a Makeover

The first section is based on research, studies and analyses of the social characteristics of 40 randomly selected juvenile recidivists referred to the juvenile court over a ten year period. This study explores and analyzes the respective families, neighborhoods, schools, grade levels, religious affiliation, socio-economic status, mental health and the types and numbers of legal offenses that were committed by the repeat offenders.

This study establishes a pattern and identifying social factors relating to causal factors contributing to their repetitious offensive acts and violations of the law. There are clearly predictive factors for juvenile repeat offenders that can be used to predict, control, prevent, control and reduce significantly, juvenile offenses and recidivism. The second section of this book explores essentials for effective administration for juvenile courts and other social service agencies in the community.

All agencies, and especially human service agencies must be administratively and operationally healthy. They must not contribute to the demoralization of the staff who already face low morale challenges in treating and serving clients who are associated with substantial depressive pathologies. Specific personnel standards, policies and procedures are vital to optimize the effectiveness of the service providing staff. There are certain training essentials and requirements that center around competence, morality, professionalism and ethical standards that must be enforced in order to maintain an efficient, functional, healthy and safe work environment.

New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation
New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation New Possibilities for Juvenile Justice: Directions for Youth Transformation

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