An analysis of the implementation of a diversion programme for juvenile offenders

Cupido, Miltoinette Antonia (2004-02)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study focuses on the implementation of, as well as identifying problem areas associated with the YES-programme offered by NICRO. This specific programme was chosen because most of the young offenders referred to NICRO complete this programme. Young offenders are referred to the programme by the magistrates' court. These are youth that have been arrested for petty crimes such as shoplifting, damage to property and possession of drugs. This programme is also aimed at first time offenders but it became evident throughout the study that these youths might have been arrested once but seems to have been involved in crime at some level prior to being arrested. Youth between the ages of thirteen and eighteen years are accepted into the programme, with exceptions sometimes made for nineteen year olds who are still attending school. Participation in the programme is strictly voluntary, but there must be an admission of guilt on the part of the youth before he/she will be considered for this kind of diversionary alternative. The programme attempts to involve both parent and child in the process of learning and therefore parents are required to attend the first and last sessions with their children. Sessions attended by parents. focus on the improving relationships and communication between parent and child. The programme is viewed as an alternative sanction, and will enable youth to be punished for their crimes whilst at the same time learning new skills, and most importantly, not gaining a criminal record. The programme stretches over eight weeks with weekly sessions that focus on self-concept, decision-making, children's rights and respecting both themselves and those around them. The researcher formed part of the process through both facilitating sessions as well as observing sessions. For these reasons the research methodology focussed primarily on participant observation and interviews.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie fokus op die proses van implementering en die identifisering van probleemareas binne die YES-program wat deur NICRO aangebied word. Die YES-program was spesifiek gekies omdat meeste van die jeugdiges wat na NICRO verwys word hierdie program voltooi. Jeugdiges word deur die hof verwys na die program wat dien as 'n afwentelingsprogram. Hierdie jeugdiges word meestal gearresteer vir geringe misdade soos winkeldiefstal, beskadiging van eiendom, en die besit van dwelms. Die jeugdiges word ook aanbeveel vir die program omdat dit hulle eerste arrestasie is, maar tydens die studie word dit duidelik dat alhoewel dit die eerste keer is dat die jeugdiges gearresteer word, dit nie hul eerste oortreding is me. Die program word beskou as 'n alternatiewe sanksie, en dit poog om die jeugdige te straf vir sy/haar daad maar ook terselfdetyd nuwe vaardighede aan te leer, en meer belangrik te voorkom dat die jeugdige 'n kriminele rekord kry. Die program strek oor agt weeklike sessies wat fokus op self-konsep, besluitneming, kinderregte en respek. Jeugdiges tussen die ouderdom van dertien en agtienjaar word verwys na die program, maar uitsonderings word ook soms gemaak vir jeugdiges van neëntienjarige ouderdom mits hulle nog skool bywoon. Die program poog om beide ouer en kind te betrek in die proses, en dus word ouers verplig om die eerste en laaste sessies saam met die jeugdiges by te woon. Die sessies wat deur die ouers bygewoon word fokus veralop die verbetering van verhoudings en kommunikasie tussen ouer en kind. Deelname aan die program is vrywillig maar die jeugdige moet skuldig pleit voordat hy/sy inaggeneem kan word vir die afwentelingsprogram. Die navorser het deel van die proses uitgemaak deur beide programme waar te neem sowel as programme te fasiliteer. Die navorsingsmetode wat dus benut was, was deelnemende waarneming sowel as onderhoudvoering.

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