About the Project

Project Overview

The Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched an initiative called the Juvenile Court Project (JCP). The JCP aims to strengthen the capacity of the Judiciary to deal with children matters using a rehabilitative, restorative and less retributive approach. This is in keeping with international guidelines and standards such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC) as well as the philosophy and provisions of the Trinidad and Tobago Children Act 2012.

 

JCP Components

There are 3 components of the JCP:

  1. Children Court Component-The development of Children Courts that support the implementation of certain provisions of the Children Act 2012
  2. Peer Resolution Component-The conduct of a pilot Peer Resolution Programme where children who have admitted guilt for minor offences or harm caused to others are sanctioned by their peers to make amends  for what they have done. Peer Resolution uses court-like procedures
  3. Public Education and Communications Component-The execution of Public Education and Communication strategies around project initiatives and related juvenile justice issues

 

Key Outcomes

By implementing the components of the JCP, the project will succeed in correcting the following deficiencies in the current juvenile justice system:

  • The punitive approach to juvenile justice
  • The increased rate of repeat offending by children for serious crimes
  • The absence of specialised Children Courts to appropriately handle criminal matters
  • Insufficient linkages between the Courts and  support programmes for children and their families

 

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