Six Brazilian states are using the restorative juvenile justice of Terre des hommes
Nov 16, 2011
from the article on AlertNet:
In September 2011, representatives of the legal authorities, public prosecutors, lawyers, non-governmental organisations, adolescents and families from six states in Brazil came together, all in agreement on the fact that restorative juvenile justice should be implemented in the current law system.
According to Anselmo de Lima, Tdh’s delegate in Brazil: “For many years the Government used to be extremely authoritarian. Now it has shown us once again its efforts to involve the civil society, which is the basis for Brazil’s democratic consolidation. The conference in September demonstrated where involvement would still be an advantage: judges and the authorities really do listen to what the young people tell them. This new network in six states can make a big difference to the level of applying the laws which have already been adapted but are not yet in use. The role of the network, and of Tdh, is to help the states to establish this: to encourage the states and to give them the means and know-how to be able to apply their laws themselves.”
Terre des hommes will be charged with orchestrating a whole network uniting the six states at a city, county and federal level (professionals in law, education, health, citizens’ associations, social workers, etc.), with the support of other humanitarian organisations and the general public. For the states in question, it will be a matter of deciding on the socio-educational measures needed for social and familial reintegration of the adolescents in conflict with the law, so as to prevent repeated offences. Training courses and information will be given to the authorities and the general public on subjects such as conflict resolution, prevention of offences, strengthening the leadership of the youngsters and families, activities for training, so that juvenile justice in future conforms to the restorative approach and also guarantees the rights of the child.
In fact, rather than dealing repressively with him, it is necessary to insist on the young delinquent being given a sense of responsibility and a work and social reintegration. The adolescent should, for example, be able to meet his victim so as to comprehend the material and emotional damage he has caused. He should also have the chance to put the damage right, for example by doing work for the community. The members of the communities and the states should equally take all this into consideration and learn not to marginalize these youngsters, but rather to give them access to a decent education.