Strengthening Legislative and Institutional Capacity for Juvenile Justice

The evolution of the Juvenile law in India can be traced back to the early 18th century. Over the years the journey to strengthen the juvenile justice has been positive though their outcomes and result has not been so encouraging. Crime by and against juveniles shows an increasing trend every year as evident from the yearly data of National Crime Record Bureau. The recently re-enacted Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which is a comprehensive legislation inter alia to provide for general principles of care and protection of children, procedures in case of children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law intends to ensure proper care, protection, development, treatment and social re-integration of children in difficult circumstances by adopting a child-friendly approach keeping in view the best interest of the child in mind.
From the earlier 70 sections, the JJ Act 2015 now has 112 sections. The Act seeks to provide greater clarity in the definition of Child Care Institutions and Children’s Court. The Child Care Institutions in respect of children in conflict with law are the Observation Home, Special Home, Place of Safety and fit facility. For children in need of care and protection, Open Shelters, Children Home and Special Adoption Agencies have specific roles to play. The major task hence to strengthen the legislative and institutional capacity for juveniles ranges from developing a general understanding of adolescent development, the needs of juvenile, and the fundamental nature of these programs, to critically examining the research, evaluation, and data instruments they use.