What is NICRO?

(Western Cape Government)
Summary
This note describes NICRO, the main provider of diversion services.
WHAT IS NICRO?

NICRO is the South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders. NICRO remains the only national non-government organisation providing comprehensive crime prevention services across South Africa. NICRO is the main provider of diversion services for children in South Africa, providing diversion services since 1992.

NICRO's research indicates that the diversion it has provided has a very high success rate in preventing re-offending, and in reintegrating children into their families and communities. NICRO handles more than 10 000 diversion cases each year in all nine provinces. NICRO has five diversion programmes:

  • The Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), a life-skills programme of 6 weeks;
  • Pre-Trial Community Service (PTCS), in terms of which the offender performs community service at a non-profit organisation;
  • Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM), in which the victim and offender meet and work out a mutually acceptable agreement;
  • Family Group Conferences, which are similar to VOM, except they involve the families of the victim and offender in the process; and
  • The Journey, aimed at high-risk children; the programme lasts between three and 12 months and involves life-skills training amongst other things.

NICRO therefore plays an important role in the child justice system at present, and will continue to do so after enactment of the Child Justice Bill.

NICRO does internal assessments of children before they are admitted to a NICRO programme. NICRO has the right and the responsibility not to accept an unsuitable candidate in its programmers.

At present, with family group conferences, probation officers are responsible for contacting service providers, such as NICRO, and reporting back to the inquiry magistrate or the court, but the conferences themselves are convened (facilitated and co-ordinated) by non-state actors such as NICRO.

NICRO Provincial Office

Physical Address: 4 Buitensingel Street, Cape Town, 8001
Postal Address: PO Box 10034, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 422 1690
Fax: 0 21 424 6879

Contact details for the other Western Cape regional offices are available on the NICRO website.

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014