CHILD PERPETRATOR SUPPORT UNIT
A Child Perpetrator Support unit has been set up in the Ministry in line with the recommendations of the UNCRC which stipulate:
1]state parties have to ensure that every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance [article 37 [d]].
2] every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner which takes into account the child’s age and the desirability of promoting the child’s reintegration and the child’s assuming a constructive role in society [article 40/ 1] .
3] the availability of a variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling[article 40/ 4]
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
• To cater for the psychological needs of juvenile offenders and provide adequate psychological support that would pave the way towards their rehabilitation and reintegration in the society.
• To attend to requests from different stakeholders namely the DPP and the Judiciary with respect to forensic psychological evaluation of juvenile offenders.
• To come up with appropriate psychological treatment programmes designed and targeted to assist child perpetrators to develop skills to reduce reoffending
• Child perpetrators under 18
• Juveniles involved in all types of offence
• Juveniles under investigation
• Juveniles undergoing trial
• Juvenile who have not been convicted or found guilty [post trial follow up]
Working in close collaboration with stakeholders and
advising on legislation, policies on matters related to juvenile offenders and their rehabilitation
Implementing policy decisions related to psychological asssitance/support and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.
Ensuring that risk strategies are consistent with evidence-based practice
Work towards Relapse prevention
Areas of intervention
Assessment of criminal responsibility, risk assessment& competency to stand trial
Psychodiagnosis & Psychotherapeutic treatment ; provide assessment, intensive treatment and risk management for child perpetrators with personality disorders etc
research related to behavioural change techniques.
Mechanism in place
Two psychologists have been recruited for the operation of the Unit.One has already been posted in the unit since June 2017and is being assigned cases referred by relevant stakeholders.[Police,DPP etc]
The Unit is under the supervision of the senior most Psychologist/Senior Psychologist of the Ministry.
[B]PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES UNIT
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES
to ensure that members of the public benefit from a high quality psychological service with the aim to improve the psychological wellbeing of clients referred to the Ministry
To ensure effective psychological service delivery at the level of the various departments of the Ministry through proper monitoring and evaluation of such services.
To respond to requests from relevant stakeholders in respect of psychological services such as court ordered psychological evaluation or treatment services in line with the mandate of the ministry .
Establishment of a dedicated section within the department that would focus on research in and development of evidenced based psychological interventions and training of staff and stakeholders who deal with child victimsd/witnesses and juvenile offenders.
continuous professional development of professionals of the Ministry
Working in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders by:
1/ Providing effective psychological support to child victims/witnesses and assisting in special measures direction in order to achieve best evidence.
2/ Providing pretrial support and post trial follow up for victims /witnesses [child and adult]involved in court proceedings
3/facilitating the interview process[criminal investigation] involving child victims/witnesses.
Areas of intervention and Services offered:
1. promote psychological recovery of child victims/witnesses and adult victims
2. psycholegal interventions interms of :
a] victim/witness support related to court proceedings
b] Pretrial and post trial support
c] Custody evaluation
d] provision of expert witness testimony in child abuse cases
3.Training,continuous professional development
Mechanism in place .
20 psychologists are attached to this section under the technical supervision of senior most Psychologist/Senior Psychologist.
A pooling exercise has been carried out with the aim to provide an integrated approach when effecting psychological interventions to children and families.