Juvenile or Children are a conflict with law referred to children under the
age of 18 years and suspected or accused of committing a crime or be part of
illegal activity. Children in conflict with law cannot be arrested by a police
officer and can only be apprehended. Only minors between the age of 16-18 years
committed heinous crimes can be treated and tried as adults.
The child in conflict with law cannot be tried in criminal courts and should be
produced before the Juvenile Justice Board Chaired by a Magistrate and two
social worker members. The idea of having social workers on the Juvenile Justice
Board is to handle the child with concern to his/her future and to treat them
with proper care.
The child in conflict with the law has the following rights based on the Child
Rights Convention, humane treatment, no corporal punishment if detained
separation from adult criminals at the correctional facility, access to legal
assistance, bail and release on recognizance, privacy, diversion, (Education,
skill development, sports etc.), proportionate judgment (age considerate
Judgement), minimum possible restrictions on liberty, automatic suspension of
sentence, probation on merit, confidentiality of proceedings, right against
discrimination, constitutional rights. The major concern on the detention of a
child in conflict with law is to make him/her understand and repent for the
After the juvenile Justice Board stipulated detention the child may be released
from the probation. Great care is required to reintegrate the juvenile back into
Childcare institutions and social welfare organisations work hand in hand with
government nodal agencies to find constructive solutions to the rehabilitation
of the Juvenile. To ensure this Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are laid
down by the Ministry of women and child development. Follow up by social workers
and probation or parole officer is done periodically to make sure the child
reintegrate well into the society he/she was once barred from.
What is rehabilitation?
The primary motto of punishment is to make the convict understand the grievous
nature of the crime committed and regret his/her actions. Hence after the
completion (full or partial) of the sentence, the convict has to be prepared to
get back into society. The ex-convicts always viewed with a suspicious mind by
the general public. Hence the ex-convicts should be prepared mentally and may be
taught skill sets to improve their job ability.
Special programs to prevent substance abuse, improve mental health, continuing
education was framed for sexual offenders, women parolees and children in
conflict with the law. The importance slowly downgraded as the twentieth century
progressed towards its end. It regained momentum as human rights concerns are
high on the activists' list.
How does rehabilitation for Juveniles work?
- While the juveniles held accountable for their violation of the law and
kept in juvenile homes or other relevant correctional facilities for public
safety, the primary aim is to rehabilitate them. The rehabilitative process
includes psychological assessment of the crime committed by the juvenile and
the environment, causing it to happen, therapeutic guidance, skill
development, involving them in yoga and other mind developing activities.
- Financial constraints of the government wade rehabilitation away and
involvement of social workers and non-profit organisations resulted in
cost-effective multi-modal rehab programs for the juveniles.
What are the provisions made by the juvenile Justice Act?
- he Juvenile Justice Act provides for the rehabilitation of the to begin
as soon as the child's transfer to the care home or other correctional
facilities. The social recognition of the child in conflict with the law can
be done by:
1(a). Aftercare care Organisations:-
- These are transitional homes where the child is kept before totally
reintegrated into society. Aftercare organisations are special homes
registered under the governmental nodal agency functions for the welfare of
- At the aftercare organisations, the juveniles were given:
- Vocational training
- Therapeutic training to improve psychological behaviour
- Continuing education
- Consensus about social values
- Economical ability to support themselves
- Activities for physical and mental fitness
- The juveniles are taken care of in after care organisations which transitional
homes after they leave the special homes and children's home. Juveniles in
conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, both categories
are places in the aftercare organisations.
1(c). Foster Care:
- It is the financial help given for child care organisations, foster families,
individuals or individual groups to meet the expenses of the juveniles'
rehabilitation programs. It may be a government aid or by a Non-Governmental
Organisation (NGO) or by individuals.
- It is one of the non-institutional care provided for the juveniles.
Based on Section 42 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, the child may be
placed with a foster family environment or parental care which cannot be
possible in normal institutional rehabilitation. The child is provided with
education as well as family care. The foster family is paid for this
service, and it is voluntary in nature.
- A child may be placed in foster care if the natural parents are:
- Suffering from deadly diseases,
- Being abroad
- Incapacitated by other means.
- Adoption benefits the orphans, homeless children and destitute
youngsters as well as childless couples. Adoption makes life meaningful for
lone single adults too as they gain a parent-child relationship. Adoption
empowers a powerful relationship between the child and its adopted parents
even though they are not related. Section 2(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act
of 2015 states that adoption as the process through which the adopted child
is permanently separated from his/her biological parents and becomes the
lawful child of his/her adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and
responsibilities that are attached to a biological child.
What are the steps taken by the judicial proceedings towards the
rehabilitation of juveniles?
A child in conflict with law is sent before the Juvenile Justice Board, not
before the other courts of law. The juvenile justice board consist of two social
worker members among one is women. This is to make sure the case proceedings
happen in a way to ascertain the welfare of a child. Care is taken care while
issuing justice which not only contains the punishment for the unlawful deed but
to rehabilitate the child back to the society.
Trial and Adjudication:
- Rule 11(11) of the Juvenile Justice Rules, 2007 states when dealing with
a child in a conflict with the law expect for crimes of heinous nature like
rape and murder need to file the First Information Report (FIR) or charge
sheet by the police. The information recorded only in the general daily
diary. The juvenile should be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board
immediately after apprehension by the police.
- A report on the social background of the juvenile, circumstances of
apprehension and the alleged crime committed should be submitted before the
Juvenile Justice Board. A Juvenile who is accused of a bailable or non-bailable
offence "shall" be released on bail or place under the care of a suitable
- The Juvenile Justice Board conducts an inquiry of the juvenile charged
with an offence and produced before it by the powers under section 14 of the
Juvenile Justice Act. By the provisions of section 18, a juvenile cannot be
tried with an adult. The age of the juvenile is determined based on
documentary evidence like the birth certificate, matriculation certificate
or medical board examination.
- Rule 13 mandates to conclude the inquiry as soon as possible by the
Juvenile Justice Board and then the presence of juvenile during the inquiry
may be dispensed by the Board if it deems fit.
- After the expiry of the appeal period, the case records of the juvenile
are removed to ensure no disqualification attaches to a juvenile in the
conflict of law. During his stay in a children's home or the special home
itself rehabilitation and social reintegration of the juvenile begin as per
the provisions of the section 40 of the Act. For the juveniles to have an
honest, industrious and useful life various programmes were conducted by the government
authorised after-care organisations after they leave the juvenile homes.