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Advocacy Work

RCJJ through its work and presence in various groups and committees has been able to bring about changes in the JJS and is now seen as an expert in the field of Juvenile Justice.

At the institutional level, RCJJ staff, through a program called 'Help Desk', work with children who come into the system and provide them with socio-legal assistance. This requires the RCJJ staff to work directly with children and their families.

  • The Centre for Criminology & Justice (CCJ) undertook a state level study titled ‘Status of Justice Delivery System for Juveniles in Conflict with Law in Maharashtra’ in the year 2008. The study was conducted in all thirty five districts of Maharashtra with due permissions from the Bombay High Court and the Department of Women and Child Development (GOM). The final report was submitted to the Bombay HC in the year 2009 for further perusal. The Bombay HC took proactive steps to implement the findings and recommendations of the study.
  • Based on the changes bought about in Maharashtra by this study, the Ministry of Law and Justice Commissioned a similar study on ‘Status of Justice Delivery System for Juveniles in Conflict with Law in Delhi’. The final report of this study was submitted to Delhi Juvenile Justice Committee (Delhi HC), Ministry of Law and Justice, Women and Child Development Department in the year 2010.
  • Collaborative partners with Department of Criminology (University of Madras) to do the study on “Issues and Challenges of the Juvenile Justice Institutions in Tamil Nadu in 2011.
  • A Juvenile Justice Committee was constituted at the Mumbai HC based on the study recommendation in the year 2009.
  • Mumbai HC issued directions to the State Judicial Academy of Maharashtra to incorporate Juvenile Justice into their training module for all levels of Judicial officers. Maharashtra falls under those few states where social workers are now invited to conduct sessions for newly appointed & senior level magistrates on the topic of ‘Child Rights and Juvenile Justice’
  • A similar process has also begun in the Police Training Academies of the State.
  • For the 1st time in 2010, proper JJBs were set up across 34 districts of Maharashtra comprising of 1 magistrate and 2 Social Workers.
  • The HC committee was convinced that JJB needs more directions and clarity in procedures to work given the principle of Juvenile Justice. Following the CrPC may not always work. In this context, a committee was set up comprising of social workers, judiciary, academicians and lawyers who prepared the Juvenile Justice Manual (Standard Operating Procedures) for Juvenile Justice Board. This Manual is currently being used by the Boards.
  • Till 2010 Social Workers on JJB were paid an honorarium of Rs 150 /- . This was increased to Rs. 500/- through the intervention of the JJ Committee.
  • The number of sitting of JJB’s was increased in those districts having a high pendency. After six months a review of pendency was taken. The pendency has now reduced drastically in all districts except 5-6 districts of Maharashtra.
  • Basic Infrastructural Facilities have been provided to all JJB’s at the directives issued by the High Court to the W& CD
  • RCJJ set up Help desks with due permission from HC in Thane and Yavatmal to help the juveniles, children and the various stakeholders working in the system. The Help desk has been instrumental in reducing recidivism and also corrupt practices that was existing in the system especially the exploitation of children by lawyers. Based on the success of the Help Desk, the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority has given a permission to start the same in all districts of Maharashtra. However, due to limitations, Help Desk is in the phase of beginning work in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Amravati and Yavatmal. This process is being supported by the Ministry of Justice.
  • Based on the outcome of the research study conducted in Maharashtra, the Delhi Government, Ministry of Law and Justice commissioned the study on “Status of Justice Delivery System for Juveniles in Conflict with Law (JCL) in Delhi”.
  • Orissa Women and Child Development Department has recently taken the initiative of conducting the study using RCJJ expertise and ICPS manpower and finance.
  • RCJJ intervention with the Home department (GOM) resulted in a GR being issued to all police stations cautioning them from treating children without proper documentation from other countries as Juveniles in Conflict with law and has instructed to treat them as Children in Need of Care and Protection.
  • The JJB's have been giving supervision orders to RCJJ personal as per the Juvenile Justice Act and this has been a challenging task as it involves the responsibility of ensuring that the juvenile does not reoffend, is rehabilitated and is mainstreamed into the society.
  • RCJJ is also a part of the sub-committee set up to look into Probation of Offender's Act 1968 and the sub-committee to amend the Maharashtra Juvenile Justice Rules.
  • Discussions are on to develop a Management Information System (MIS) for the JCL system which would help monitor and evaluate its functioning (in collaboration with Maharashtra Judicial Academy & Indian Mediation Centre &Training Institute and Women and Child Development Department- GOM). As the JJB comprises of Judicial Officers and Social Workers, currently there is no mechanism for monitoring the working of Social Workers.