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Juvenile Justice for South Africa: Proposals for Policy and Legislative Change

NCJ Number
A Skelton; R Shapiro; D Pinnock
Date Published
60 pages
Because there is no specific body of legislation governing the handling of juvenile offenders in South Africa, proposals are offered for policy and legislative change to create an effective juvenile justice system.
The proposals emphasize accountability, encourage young people to take responsibility for their behavior, promote restorative justice and conflict resolution, bring young people and their families to the center of the decisionmaking process, protect the rights of young people and victims, provide alternatives at every stage of the juvenile justice process, prevent reoffending, minimize the need for institutionalization, and ensure cultural appropriateness. The proposals cover alternatives to arrest, juvenile arrest, juvenile reception, juvenile referral, family group conferences, juvenile court proceedings, age of criminal capacity, role of the youth justice worker, sentencing, treatment of young people in secure care facilities, recordkeeping, fingerprinting, and identity protection. Definitions and principles of legislative proposals are provided. 6 figures