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Presentation to Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development: Consolidated progress report on implementation of Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No 75 of 2008): Inter-sectoral Child Justice Steering Committee (ISCCJ).

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Director-General: National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development; and

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Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Presentation to Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development: Consolidated progress report on implementation of Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No 75 of 2008):Inter-sectoral Child Justice Steering Committee (ISCCJ)

Director-General: National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development; and

Chair of the National ISCCJ:

22 June 2011


Part 1 overview of the annual report

PART 1: OVERVIEW OF THE ANNUAL REPORT


Part 1 of the presentation key focus areas

PART 1 OF THE PRESENTATION: KEY FOCUS AREAS

  • Background and overview;

  • Governance structures;

  • Appreciation.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Background and Overview:

  • The Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No 75 of 2008) came into

  • effect on 1 April 2010.

  • The first annual report by the Intersectoral Committee on Child

  • Justice (ISCCJ) will be tabled in Parliament shortly in terms of

  • section 96(3) of the Act.

  • The period now being reported upon is for the first year of

  • implementation, viz. from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.


Background and overview of the child justice act

Background and overview of the Child Justice Act:

  • The report is a consolidated account of collaborative efforts by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster Departments in realising the objectives of the Act.

  • It relates to the progressive work done by the integrated governance structures to achieve the effective and cost-efficient implementation of the Act throughout the country.

  • The Act puts in place a criminal justice system which caters for the needs of children in conflict with the law with special attention to their developmental needs.

  • It provides for special measures for children in conflict with the law to break the cycle of crime so as to mature into law-abiding and productive citizens.


Background and overview continued

Background and overview, continued:

  • The report details the successful development of legislative supporting documentation that was approved, published and taken through the implementation process throughout the country.

  • It notes the successful finalisation of the National Policy Framework.

  • It highlights a remarkable decline in the number of children awaiting trial in correctional facilities.

  • It further outlines the challenges and steps to be taken


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Governance Structures: Intersectoral Committee for Child Justice

  • The Act promotes and affirms collaboration between the implementing Departments and institutions through the establishment of the Directors-General Intersectoral Committee for Child Justice, which is represented by:

  • Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development, as the

  • Chairperson of the Committee;

  • National Director of Public Prosecutions;

  • National Commissioner of the South African Police Service;

  • National Commissioner of Correctional Services;

  • Director-General: Social Development, who has been elected as the

  • deputy Chair of the Committee;

  • Director-General: Education; and

  • Director-General: Health.


Governance structures national operational intersectoral committee for child justice

Governance Structures: National Operational Intersectoral Committee for Child Justice

  • The DG’s Intersectoral Committee mandated the establishment of the National Operational Intersectoral Committee to manage the operational issues relating to the implementation of the Act and its National Policy Framework.

  • This Committee makes high-level operational decisions about the implementation process and submits recommendations to the DG’s Intersectoral Committee, where necessary.

  • It is further tasked to monitor progress and achievements made by the implementing Departments and institutions during the execution process.


Governance structures provincial child justice fora

Governance Structures: Provincial Child Justice Fora

  • To ensure the intersectoral approach in the implementation process at regional and local level, the 9 Provincial Child Justice Fora were established.

  • The primary role of these Fora is to monitor the implementation of the Act at provincial and local levels.

  • Each Forum reports directly to the National Operational Intersectoral Committee for Child Justice.


Appreciation

Appreciation:

  • A detailed report on the progressive work done by these governance structures will follow next in Part 2 of this presentation.

  • At this stage, please allow me to extend my deep gratitude to the Directors-General Intersectoral Committee for the strategic guidance they stalwartly gave to make the implementation process in this first year so astoundingly productive.

  • My appreciation further goes to the various implementing departments, the Magistracy, Legal Aid SA and the Civil Society Organisations for their outstanding contributions in making child justice real in South Africa.


Part 2 progress on the implementation of the child justice act 2008

PART 2: PROGRESS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CHILD JUSTICE ACT, 2008


Part 2 key focus areas of the report

Part 2: Key Focus Areas of the Report

  • Objects of the Child Justice Act, 2008;

  • Achievements in the implementation of the National Policy Framework;

  • Legislative documentation;

  • Implementation challenges


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Objects of the Child Justice Act, 2008:

  • Establish a criminal justice system for children in accordance

  • with the values underpinning our Constitution and our

  • international obligations;

  • Expand and entrench the principles of restorative justice

  • while ensuring children’s responsibility and accountability for

  • crimes committed;

  • Increased emphasis on the effective rehabilitation and

  • reintegration of children in order to minimise the potential for

  • re-offending;

  • Balance the interests of children and those of society, with

  • due regard to the rights of victims;


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Objects of the Child Justice Act, 2008: Continued

  • Raise the minimum age of criminal capacity for children from the age of 7 years to 10 years;

  • Provide for special processes or procedures for securing attendance at court of, the release or detention and placement of children;

  • Provide for the diversion of matters involving children;

  • Provide for the adjudication of matters involving children

    who are not diverted; and

  • Provide for a wide range of appropriate sentencing options,

    specifically suited to the needs of children.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

The National Policy Framework

  • The Act requires the drafting of the National Policy Framework (NPF) to:-

  • Ensure the uniform, coordinated and cooperative approach by all government

  • Departments, organs of state and institutions dealing with matters relating to

  • child justice;

  • Guide the implementation and administration of the Act;

  • Promote co-operation and communication with the non-governmental sector and civil society in order to ensure effective partnerships for the strengthening of the child justice system; and

  • Enhance service delivery as envisaged in the Act through the development of a plan within available resources.


The 10 key priorities of the npf

The 10 Key Priorities of the NPF

  • Building capacity in the sector;

  • Ensuring assessment of children;

  • Preliminary Inquiries;

  • Sentencing;

  • Provision of Diversion and Alternative Sentencing Services;

  • Establishment of Child and Youth Care Centres (also referred to as Secure Care facilities);

  • Establishment of One-Stop Child Justice Centres;

  • Resources and Budgets;

  • Public Education and Communication; and

  • Development of Necessary IT and IJS-Systems to Support Information Management Systems


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Building Capacity in the Sector


Appointment of dedicated resources continued

Appointment of Dedicated Resources, continued

  • In most courts, dedicated Magistrates are appointed by the Head of the Office to deal specifically with child justice cases


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Building Capacity in the Sector: Continued


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Building Capacity in the Sector: Continued

  • Establishment of dedicated infrastructure:


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Ensuring assessment of children

  • The Department of Social Development reported that a total of 32 494 children were assessed during the period 1 April 2010 until 31

  • March 2011.

  • The Department of Social Development has developed a plan for the

  • progressive appointment of such probation officers.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Preliminary Inquiries

  • A preliminary inquiry is an informal pre-trial procedure which is inquisitorial in nature. It may be conducted in a court or any other suitable place.

  • It is regarded as a child’s first appearance before court or any other suitable place.

  • It must be held in respect of every child who is alleged to have committed an offence, except where the:-

  • Matter has been diverted by a prosecutor;

  • Child is under the age of 10 years; or

  • Matter has been withdrawn.

  • The DoJ&CD has reported that a total of 14 471 children appeared before preliminary inquiries during the year under review.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Sentencing Options

  • Community-based sentences;

  • Restorative justice sentences;

  • Fines or alternatives to fines;

  • Correctional supervision;

  • Postponement or suspension of passing of sentence;

  • Compulsory residence in a child and youth care centre; and

  • Imprisonment as a measure of last resort and only for the

  • shortest appropriate period of time.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Sentencing Options: Continued


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Diversions

  • One of the primary objects of the Act is to divert children in conflict with the law away from the formal criminal justice system, where appropriate.

  • From the NPA statistical report, a total of 15,588 children were diverted during the period April 2010 to March 2011.

  • However, during the same period April 2009 to March 2010, a total of 16 173 children were diverted.

  • A comparative analysis of the two periods shows a decrease of 3%.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Establishment of Child and Youth Care Centres

  • In terms of section 29 of the Act, children not released into the care of their parents or care-givers, may be placed in Child and Youth Care Facilities managed by the Department of Social Development.

  • Section 76 of the Act also provides for the sentencing of children to compulsory residence in a Child and Youth Care Facility. The Department of Social Development plans to designate at least, one wing in one Centre per province for sentenced children.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Establishment of Child and Youth Care Centres

  • Total number of Child and Youth Care Facilities, plus their bed space capacity (Next slide):

  • Monthly admissions and releases during the period April to October 2010:

    • (Next slide)

Source: DSD MIS


Npf establishment of child and youth care centres

NPF: Establishment of Child and Youth Care Centres

  • The purpose of these provisions is to prevent children from being detained in prisons.

  • Currently, there are 28 Child and Youth Care Facilities, countrywide, with another 3 completely built, but not yet operational. These will be operational in the 2011/12 financial year.

  • Social Development reported that from the 1st April to the 31st October 2010, an average of 3 599 children were admitted on a monthly basis; 3 470 were released and the overall admission for the period was 8 879.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Establishment of One Stop Child Justice Centres

  • The objective of One Stop Child Justice Centres is to ensure provision of integrated and holistic services in child justice.

  • As reported earlier, there are two (2) existing One Stop Child Justice Centres in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.

  • The Cluster has in the meantime, finalised and implemented Guidelines on the Establishment and Management of One Stop Child Justice Centres.

  • Because of budgetary constraints, the Cluster is considering the feasibility of establishing One Stop Child Justice Centres at the existing Secure Care Facilities (Child and Youth Care Facilities).


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Resources and Budgets

  • All implementing Departments and institutions have experienced lack of or insufficient dedicated resources and budgets.

  • Departments are implementing the Act mostly within existing resources.

  • For 2010/11, R30 million was received additionally, which was divided between the DoJ&CD, NPA and Legal Aid SA for additional dedicated capacity and co-ordination of cluster meetings, training and communication.

  • The budget allocated for 2011/12 is R52 230 661.


Npf communication and awareness raising

NPF: Communication and awareness-raising

  • Developed Child Justice Communication Strategy for Cluster:

    • Launched the Act in Soweto on 1st April 2010;

    • Showcased the intersectoral co-ordination and co-operation to successfully implement the Act at the Mangaung, Bloemfontein One Stop Child Justice Centre, and raised awareness on the Act. Audience included 3 local schools;

    • Developed and distributed to all 9 regions, 100 000 child-friendly booklets and at least 2 banners for each Regional Office and implementing Department on Child Justice;

    • SAPS: 24 crime prevention initiatives implemented;

    • Full implementation of the Communication Strategy is prioritised for this financial year.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Development of Information Technology and Integrated Justice Systems to Support Information Management Systems

  • The Intersectoral Committee has established an Information Management Sub-Task Team led by the Integrated Justice System, where a 3-phase process is currently followed to establish the Integrated Information Management System, as prescribed.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Development of Information Technology and Integrated Justice Systems to Support Information Management Systems


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Development of Information Technology and Integrated Justice Systems to Support Information Management Systems


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Development of Information Technology and Integrated Justice Systems to Support Information Management Systems


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Development of Information Technology and Integrated Justice Systems to Support Information Management Systems

  • Other Summaries of statistics, in terms of section 97(4)

  • of the Child Justice Act, 2008


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

NPF: Development of Information Technology and Integrated Justice Systems to Support Information Management Systems


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

THE REGULATIONS, DIRECTIVES & NATIONAL INSTRUCTIONS


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Provision and Accreditation of Diversion Programmes and Diversion Service Providers

  • Section 56 (2) (a) of the Act requires the Minister of Social Development to to create a policy framework for the accreditation of diversion programmes and diversion service providers

  • The Diversion Accreditation Framework was tabled in Parliament in June 2010 and a notice in the Gazette inviting applications for the accreditation of diversion programs and diversion service providers was published in August 2010, in compliance with section 56(2)(c)(ii) of the Act

  • All the applications received, are being considered and decided upon by the Department of Social Development.


Challenges and intervention strategies

Challenges and intervention strategies:

  • Lack of enough additional dedicated budget allocations:

    • Will submit motivation for additional budget to the National Treasury.

  • Decline in diversion statistics:

    • Have embarked on a research project to determine reasons for the decline and establish measures to address gaps, if any.

  • No Integrated Information Management System (IIMS) yet and capacity to conduct analysis thereof:

    • Established dedicated Information Management Task Team to facilitate the finalization of the implementation phases for the development of the IIMS;

  • Slow rollout of training to reach all relevant officials:

    • Establish Training Task Team to fast-track training; and

  • Insufficient communication and awareness-raising:

    • Complete the implementation of the Communication Strategy


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

Conclusion

  • During the year under review, optimal performance was recorded by the various implementing Departments and institutions. Many provisions of the Act found implementation with favourable results.

  • The Directors-General Intersectoral Committee and its operational structures made commendable work which resulted in numerous concrete deliverables within the initial year of implementation.

  • However, the implementation process was not without teething

  • challenges, as previously highlighted.


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Nevertheless, the coordinated and joint approach that the Cluster Departments and the Non-Governmental organizations (represented in the National Operational Committee) demonstrated in the implementation of this Act, laid a concrete basis for success in many areas of service delivery. It is a foundation that the Directors-General Intersectoral Child Justice Steering Committee seeks to foster for greater achievements in the future.


Director general national department of justice and constitutional development and

QUESTIONS?

THANK YOU!


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