The Senate has passed on first reading the proposed bill establishing a Juvenile Restorative Justice Program, that will facilitate the rehabilitation of juvenile crime offenders.

Senate Bill 11-80 eyes a juvenile program that will be headed by the Ministry of Justice.

“The Olbiil Era Kelulau finds that juveniles are particularly vulnerable when entering the criminal justice system. The stigma of an adverse judgment and the higher potential for juveniles to be influenced by adult inmates’ illicit behaviors during detention impedes the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents in the Republic,” the proposed bill stated.

The program, the bill stated, will be focused on “intervention, diversion, victim-offender and community-based reconciliation.”

It will also be meant to work as alternative means of intervention and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

“Rather than focus on retribution and punishment of the juvenile offenders affected by the crime, a Juvenile Restorative Justice shall focus on the resolution of all parties, by holding the juvenile offenders, their parents or their guardians, accountable for the crimes through victim-offender conferences and other diversion programs incentivized by the  Juvenile  Restorative Justice Program.

Restorative justice programs are aimed to repair the harm caused to all individuals involved in a crime, and to the broader community, by encouraging open communication between justice-involved youths and victims and holding justice-involved youths accountable for their actions. (Island Times)

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