Home Law International Handbook of Juvenile Justice
ALTERNATIVE SANCTIONS FOR JUVENILES
The Children Act provides for alternative sanctions for juveniles rather than remand/detention. It provides:
Whenever possible, the court shall consider alternatives to remand such as close supervision or placement with a fit person determined by the court, on the recommendation of a probation and social welfare officer.
Nevertheless, I established that while police try to use diversion methods, they encounter difficulties in some instances. One police officer explained that in most cases, some of the juveniles they detain are brought in by their parents. This makes it difficult to convince their parents to take them back. This is usually the case when juveniles have stolen from their parents or are violent as a result of drug abuse. This is in agreement with the Uganda Human Rights Commission report, 2014, that established that families of the juveniles do not visit them in detention and that children’s families rejected them when they were taken back to resettle in the community. This is compounded by lack of psychologists in the remand homes to counsel the children. Their transformation therefore becomes difficult and could result in detained children committing more crimes in the future.
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