People in Conflict with the Law
(Bill) No. 49 of 2002Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (National) (The Government of South Africa)
This Bill proposes a new criminal justice process for children accused of committing crimes. It aims to protect the rights of these children. The proposed law deals with the detention of children and their release from detention and provides for ways of diverting these cases away from the formal courts. There are also provisions on sentencing and legal representation. The Bill aims to ensure that children in conflict with the law can be reintegrated into society.
WHAT IS THE CHILD JUSTICE ACT (CJA)? Since 1 April 2010, children who committed crime are dealt with in terms of the Child Justice Act (CJA), instead of the normal criminal procedure which is used for adults. The aim of the CJA is to set up a child justice system specifically for children in conflict with the law. WHO CLASSIFIES AS A CHILD? According to the Child Justice Act (CJA), a child is someone who is under the age of 18 years.
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This document outlines what home-based supervision is and how it can be used to minimise the number of children detained in prisons and other residential facilities.
Youths at risk are learners who have problems such as drug and/or alcohol abuse or are in trouble with the law. Their emotional and/or behavioural problems are barriers to their learning and development.In the Western Cape, there are five levels of support to prevent or resolve such problems. The type of support and the restrictions that may be placed on the learner depend on the nature of the problem. Interventions include educational, therapeutic and/or residential support services.The five levels of support are:
The provincial Department of Social Development, along with non-profit organisations, provide re-integration and after care services to children and adults in conflict with the law.
This site contains information on the Child Justice Bill. It includes documents, information on events and programmes and frequently asked questions.
Family Group Conferences are one of the many restorative justice mechanisms used to reintegrate young offenders into society. This short article explains in more detail what family group conferences are and how they work.
Diversion refers to diverting an accused child away from formal court procedures and towards a more constructive and positive solution. Diversion is based on the principles of restorative justice, which requires that offenders accept responsibility for the crime committed, make amends for their misdeeds and initiating a healing process for themselves, their families, the victims and the community.
This note describes NICRO, the main provider of diversion services.
Concerns about the effectiveness of traditional criminal justice systems have given rise to new approaches to criminal justice. One such approach is Restorative Justice, a theory that focuses on reconciling and reintegrating offenders into society rather than on retribution. This theory and its practical applications are explained briefly in this short article.
The Western Cape Child Justice Forum is a unique entity that exists to monitor the numbers of children awaiting trial in the province and develops and promotes alternative methods of dealing with young offenders. Details on the forum are provided in this short descriptive article.
This short article explains the role of probation officers in the criminal justice system.