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Revisiting Policies Concerning Treatment of Children in Conflict with the Law in the Philippines

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									Revisiting the Policies Concerning
    Treatment of Children in
  Conflict with the Law in the
   The Philippine Juvenile Justice

• Children offenders are treated differently
  from adults

• “excuse de minorite”
• formative years
                              (Khatiwad, 2005)
 Children in Conflict with the Law
• Children who are “alleged as, accused of, or
  adjudged as, having committed an offense
  under Philippine laws” (RA 9344).

• 15 years and 1 day old or above but below
  eighteen (18) years of age who commits an
  offense with discernment.
The Philippine Juvenile Justice
– Theft
– Attempted murder
– Robbery
– Physical Injuries
– Rape
– Illegal possession of fire arms
– Prohibited drugs
– Acts of Lasciviousness
– Homicide
Total Number of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) CY
          1999-2004 (Plan Philippines, 2006)

          Year             Number of Children in Conflict
                                  with the Law
          1999                          3747
          2000                          5017
          2001                          5895
          2002                          5556
          2003                          4279
          2004                          2906
• Theoretical roots of the Juvenile Justice
  System—Restorative Justice.

• Policies of the Philippine Juvenile Justice Welfare
  Act of 2006

• Challenges that seem to hold back the successful
  adoption of restorative justice as the underlying
  philosophy of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2006.
           Restorative Justice

• Process “where all the stakeholders affected
  by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss
  how they have been affected by the injustice
  and to decide what should be done to repair
  the harm” (Braithwaite 2004).
           Restorative Justice
• participation of both parties—the offender
  and the victim

• The intervention of criminal justice
  professionals—lawyers, police forces, social
  workers, judges—must not play the primary
  role in the process and must rather be de-
              Barton (2000)
(1)Reversal of moral disengagement

(2) Social and moral development

(3) Emotional and moral psychological healing

(4) Reintegrative shaming
     Policies of Juvenile Justice and
     Welfare Act of 2006 (RA 9344)

• The Act states in its declaration of state policy
  that “[t]he State shall apply the principles of
  restorative justice in all its laws, policies and
  programs applicable to children in conflict
  with the law” (Sec 2).
  Practice of Restorative Justice:
Reparation of victim

• (1) Restitution of property
• (2) Reparation of the damage caused
• (3) Indemnification for consequential
• (4) Written or oral apology.
    Practice of Restorative Justice:
Reparation of offender

• (5) Care, guidance and supervision orders;
• (6) Counseling for the child in conflict with the law and the
  child's family;
• (7) Attendance in trainings, seminars and lectures on: anger
  management skills; problem solving and/or conflict resolution
  skills; values formation; and other skills which will aid the child
  in dealing with situations which can lead to repetition of the
• (8) Participation in available community-based programs,
  including community service;
• (9) Participation in education, vocation and life skills programs.
    Practice of Restorative Justice:
          Diversion Programs

• This process “refers to an alternative, child-
  appropriate process of determining the
  responsibility and identifying ways of
  managing a child in conflict with the law
  without resorting to formal court proceedings
  (DSWD, 2008).
    Practice of Restorative Justice:
          Diversion Programs

• “The offender experiences justice in a very
  real way by facing his/her victim, confronting
  the offence and hopefully working out a
  solution that is acceptable and mutually
  beneficial to all parties concerned” (Save the
  Children UK, 2004).
     Victim-Offender negotiation
• 1. First phase - the mediator talks with the
  offender and victim separately, with the
  intention of helping to reach a point where they
  are prepared to meet face to face, to search
  together for some solution to their conflict.

• 2. Second phase - there is direct negotiation
  between the offender and the victim, but the
  mediator is often present as an unbiased
      Examples in Metro Manila
• Community and Barangay Tanod
-Informal talks with the child, giving him/her advice

• Police
-Encourage parents of child to talk with the
  Complainant and for the latter to settle the case

• Court and Prosecution
-During pre-trial stage, ask the complainant to
  settle the case
  Restorative Justice and RA 9344

• The CICL becomes ashamed of his/her offense
  in a reintegrative way—the child understands
  the damage caused to the victim and society
  without being defensive.
  Restorative Justice and RA 9344
• Re-learn to absorb the society’s values
  through the values formation lectures.

• develop emotional and moral psychological
  healing in the training, seminars and lectures
  on anger management skills, problem-solving
  and/or conflict resolution skills etc.
• “[T]o bring together victim, offender and
  community in a process that will restore and
  heal the damage experienced from the reality
  of criminal behavior, it says much less
  concerning the social and cultural contexts in
  which criminal behavior occurs”
(Acorn, 2004 as cited in Polizzi, 2008).
 Challenges: Professional take-over
• Societies tend to enforce what is ideal;
• Prevention of the potential delinquencies
  through social controls

(Shoemaker, 2000)
  Challenges: Professional take-over

• Challenge in the initiative of the stakeholders-
  especially the offenders

• [L]ikely to have experienced abuse and
  neglect in their own homes and in their
  immediate environments…
(Save the Children UK, 2004)

• “It is very hard for developing countries [like
  the Philippines] to improve a juvenile justice
  system, when they are already struggling with
  scarce resources” (Murdoch-Verwijs, n.d.).
• Children are still found inside adult jails
• [CICL ]forced into harsh and dehumanising situations
  within the adult criminal justice system that expose
  them to further abuse and tarnish any hope for them
  to be reintegrated into their families and
  communities and become responsible and productive
(Save the Children UK, 2004)

- join gangs (UNICEF, 2004)

- after their release they
went back in the street with more
knowledge of crime (Murdoch-Verwijs,

• “A feasible objective is to increase the
  proportion of actors who are conscious of the
  virtues of reintegration” (Braithwaite and
  Mugford, 1994).
• Simple campaigns and programs from different

• Not through highfaluting theoretical orientations
  but through dialogues of professionals and the
  community, using empirical examples from

(Shearing and Ericson 1991 as cited in Braithwaite
  and Mugford, 1994).
• “[T]he success or failure of a criminal justice
  intervention . . . depends significantly on the
  degree to which it allows, or promotes, the
  realization of the critical factors identified in
  [restorative justice]” (Barton, 2000)

• Future works that focus on how different
  parties can actively participate more on the
  process of reintegration.

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