Youth at Risk

Child Justice 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.

Chrysalis Academy - Life skills training for young people

The Department of Community Safety offers social crime prevention and life skills training for young people from disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape.

Crime Prevention Initiatives with Youth during June 2016 School Holiday

(Public Information)
The Department invites Religious Institutions (registered NPO) to submit proposals

Finding South African Youth Organisations

There are numerous organisations in South Africa working with Youth around a vast variety of topics. These organisations include non-profit organisations, faith-based organisations, government sponsored initiatives and community-based initiatives. To find out what organisations are active in your area, you can search the following online databases: National Youth Commission Database of South African Youth Organisations Umsobomvu Service Organisations Database

Help When a Child Has been Arrested

Who Classifies as a Child? What are the Rights of Children Who are Arrested? What Can a Parent/Guardian Do to Help a Child Who Has been Arrested? What Can I Do if My Child is being Treated Inappropriately? Where Can I Find out More about the Child Justice Bill?

Interventions for Youth at Risk

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:

Rehabilitation for Youth in Conflict with the Law (Diversion)

The provincial Department of Social Development, along with non-profit organisations, runs a number of diversion programmes for children who have run foul of the law. "Diversion" refers to diverting an accused child away from formal court procedures and towards a more constructive, positive solution based on the principles of restorative justice. Diversion may be offered either with or without conditions.

The Child Justice Website

This site contains information on the Child Justice Bill. It includes documents, information on events and programmes and frequently asked questions.

What are Family Group Conferences?

(Public Information)
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.

What is Diversion?

(Public Information)
Young people who have been accused of a crime are often diverted out of the official criminal justice system, with or without special conditions, and into programmes aimed at developing life skills as an alternative to spending time in prison.

What is NICRO?

(Public Information)
This note describes NICRO, the main provider of diversion services.

What is Restorative Justice?

(Public Information)
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.

What is the Child Justice Forum?

(Public Information)
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.

Who are Probation Officers?

(Public Information)
This short article explains the role of probation officers in the criminal justice system.

Youth Safety and Religious Partnership Programme (YSRP)

(Public Information)
The Department of Community Safety builds on existing partnerships with the religious sector aimed at the co-production of programmes and activities to remove youth from the streets, especially in high risk areas, during the school holidays. These programmes are envisaged to contribute towards creating a safer environment.