Social problems faced by male juvenile offenders in secure care centers in the North-West Province
Moumakwa, Tshokolo Reggy
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A high percentage of crime in South Africa is committed by children and this is a disturbing factor. Prior to 1994 children who committed crimes were treated in the same way as adults who were arrested. In 1995, new legislature was drafted which made provisions that children in conflict with the law must be treated differently from adult criminals. This amendment of apartheid laws allowed for children to be removed from adult prisons and allowed them to be detained under supervision in juvenile facilities, often with their parents. Such a restorative justice system made provisions for the development of Child Justice Act No. 75 of 2008. This Act enshrines the rights of children who are in conflict with the law. The act also made provisions for the establishment of secure care centers; institutions meant for the detention of juvenile offenders. The centers were established to rehabilitate children and ensure their safety from the community and from themselves. There are thousands of children detained in these centres in South Africa. Some of them are awaiting trial while others are under crime-diversion programmes. Despite what is intended with these secure care centers, there are problems faced by juvenile offenders housed in such centers. One of the major challenges facing juveniles in the centers is gangsterism. It is the purpose of this study to identify the problems facing juvenile offenders in three secure care centers located in North-West Province, South Africa.
- Health Sciences