Youth at Risk | Western Cape Government

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 through its partnership with the Chrysalis Academy offers a 3-month holistic leadership development programme for young people from disadvantaged communities throughout the Western Cape. Who are we?

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

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. On 19 August 2022, the Child Justice Act was amended to increase the minimum age of criminal capacity from 10 years to 12 years.   Who classifies as a child?  

Rehabilitation for children and adults in conflict with the law

The provincial Department of Social Development, with non-profit organisations, provide reintegration and aftercare services to children and adults in conflict with the law.  

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)
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.

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.