All Field Action Projects
Research Study:In 2008-2009 a research was carried out with a purpose of understanding the current situation of the system better. Special permission was taken by High Court for this research. High court played an important role in implementation of recommendation. There were around 3500 cases pending of JJB board in thane district only. High court recommended to JJB sitting to be increased from two days a week to five days a week. This brought down the number of cases drastically. Many of the recommendation has been successfully implemented in Maharashtra state. Research study has been also done at Delhi state and recommendations are being implemented in step process. The children / juveniles that R.C.J.J works with are either identified by R.C.J.J personnel or are referred by functionaries within the J.J.Ss comprising of JJB, CWC, police, superintendent, caretakers, lawyers and other concerned personnel In many cases, the parents or children directly approach R.C.J.J for help.- Direct work with children involves providing:
Help DeskWith due permission from Bombay H.C, Help Desk’s were set up within the OH premises at Thane and Yavatmal. The objective of help desk is to provide information and guidance to the parents, children and assist functionaries to operationalise the child protection tenets of J.J.S. The working days of help desk are synchronised with the sittings days of the JJB. Thus, Help desk functions on Thursday & Friday in Thane and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Yavatmal.
Standardised formats :Help Desk has prepared standardized formats free of cost for simple procedure like filing applications for bail, leave of absence, speedier disposal of cases etc. These formats were evolved based on the repeated requests from the parents/guardians of the children for these procedures. Thus to facilitate parent’s access and understanding of the system formats with the required language were evolved. It was seen that through this initiative parents who were charged by lawyers between Rs. 100/- to 500/- or more, to type a simple letter were relived of this uncalled expense.
Representing children before the JJB :The R.C.J.J personnel found that there were various reasons, which lead to delay in the hearing of cases of juveniles. One of the predominant reasons was parents/guardians inhibition to approach the JJB. There are certain situations where due to pressing circumstances R.C.J.J. represents the child directly before the JJB.
Supervision of children as per section 15 (3) of JJAThe JJB by passing orders under Section 15 (3) of JJA has entrusted R.C.J.J personnel with supervision of a few cases of juveniles for the purpose of their rehabilitation and follow up. Orders passed under this section are being averred to as ‘good practice’ as very few JJB’s in the state or anywhere in India pass orders using this section.
Facilitating speedy disposal of casesWork with children in the home brings forth pending cases of juveniles, for many reasons such as lack of follow up, lack of coordination between various systems responsible for the protection of the child. Most common delays are due to the failure of the police station to submit the final report (also known as charge sheet), lack of coordination between the JJB and CWC.
Guidance and assistanceInvolves instituting a robust referral services for children for special education, vocational training, re-enrolment of children in schools and job opportunities.
R.C.J.J has been facilitating the J.J.S to provide an integrated framework for children’s services amongst the range of structures and delivery systems over the years. Thus, R.C.J.J actively networks with all the systems involved in the delivery of J.J.S and attempts to develop informed collaborative interventions for JCL’s.
6. Training Programs & Workshops
RCJJ works very closely with the Juvenile Justice system to ensure that the Principles of the Juvenile Justice Act (Care and protection) 2015 are upheld. The Act recognises the importance of proper care, protection, development, treatment, social re-integration of these children, by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposal of matters in the best interest of children and for the rehabilitation through process and institutions and bodies established.
As the Preamble of the Act itself indicates, “The best interest” of the children and their ultimate rehabilitation and reformation is the aim of the Act.
For this purpose it is very necessary to create awareness on the procedures and processes laid down in the Act amongst all stakeholders.
It was realised that many of the stakeholders come to the JJ system with working experience of the adult justice system. RCJJ constantly engages with them through workshops and training Programs to sensitise them to the issues pertaining the JJ system.
We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation and collaboration of the Maharashtra Judicial Academy (MJA) the Police Commissionerates of the various districts of Maharashtra and the Department of Women and Child Development in this endeavour of ours. We have also partnered with various NGO’s working on Child rights and Child services to sensitise their staff and members of civil society on issues related to Child Rights and Child Protection
7. Documentation: Documentation and dissemination in R.C.J.J concentrates on developing material for use by front line JJS functionaries such as the police constables, caretaker of the homes etc. The rationale for this decision is that while many manuals have been developed not many are available for people directly interfacing with children. These are developed, tested in the field and then finalised for printing and dissemination.8. Advocacy : R.C.J.J has actively advocated with the HC and through their interest and intervention, a few significant developments in the area of JJS were achieved. The HC on learning from RCJJ that the JJB’s across the state were not constituted appropriately and the majority of social workers had a law background ordered the same to be rectified. As a result, constitution of JJB’s with two Social Workers and One Magistrate ensued across the state. The state ensured that social workers were appointed as per the JJA and Rules. This was further followed up with a request that State level training be conducted by the State Judicial Academy. As a result, training on Juvenile Justice is a part of the curriculum for all magistrates at the Maharashtra Judicial Academy located at Uttan.
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