A Workshop on Evaluation of Juvenile Justice Strategy & Action Priority Matrix
Amman, September 22 (Petra) – Organized by NCFA and Questscope, the specialized workshop on the evaluation and development of the National Strategy for Juvenile Justice and the Action Priority Matrix (2017-2021) had begun this Thursday.
Muwafaq Masaeed, the lieutenant colonel military judge and the Head of the State Security Court (SSC) stated that Jordan has taken significant legislative steps towards protecting children and juveniles, while taking into account the economic, social and family conditions, to ensure that juvenile remains outside the "outlaws' category.
In this workshop where specialists, jurists, human rights activists and representatives of various governmental and non-governmental national institutions were present, Al-Masaeed stressed the importance of evaluating the National Strategy for Juveniles in a manner that achieves justice and legal protection for this category. He further added that SSC shall exercise its jurisdiction over any juvenile-related cases. As for Public Prosecution, it assumes the responsibility of investigating cases involving drug offenders, while ensuring that all the legal provisions are put into practice.
Dr. Mohammad Fakhri Miqdadi, the Secretary-General of NCFA stated the previously adopted strategy for juvenile justice was developed by a specialized committee and juvenile justice experts. It was pointed out that this strategy is built upon the adoption of the participatory approach, the utilization of juvenile justice workers' experiences, and the relevant previous experiences to identify the best practices, and track the implementation of juvenile justice-related procedures and roles by the concerned workers, as stated in Juvenile Law No. 32 of (2014) and the regulations, and instructions issued thereunder.
Dr. Mohammad Fakhri has also highlighted that several specialized training workshops on the Strategy for Juvenile Justice were conducted for all the concerned, and a new strategy and a priority work matrix governing juvenile issues were developed in line with the requirements of the next juvenile justice stage. Let alone tackle the juvenile issue in a sound and proper manner and develop a strategy that addresses workers dealing with juveniles within a procedural system that is consistent with international standards and conventions, national legislation and best practices.
On the other hand, Hadeel Abdulaziz, the Executive Director of the Justice Center for Legal Aid, indicated that this workshop reflects NCFA's approach in dealing with the juvenile justice system, pointing out that this participatory approach was culminated in the exertion of cumulative efforts and achievements to protect children.
She also stated that "Partners, specialists, and Jordanian legislator(s) have affirmed that Jordanian children are highly prioritized and are worth investing in. They also emphasized the importance of never allowing a child's mistake to be perceived as a turning point in his life, or even mark the collapse of his future."
Curt Rhodes, the Commissioner of Questscope indicated that the Foundation had strived in 2000 to build deep partnerships with NCFA, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Family Protection Department, focusing on building the capacities of workers dealing with juveniles at the level of the Ministry. He further stated that the theory of change (ToC) proposed that Juveniles' social and emotional skills would improve and the related recurring offences will reduce if they are engaged in sincere, meaningful and systematic relationships.
He resumed that Questscope has managed, through its partnership with NCFA, to meet the needs of more than 1,500 juveniles arrested within two years, and built meaningful relationships between them, as adolescents participated in conducting targeted and systematic activities over the course of an entire year. Besides this, Questscope has also trained 2,000 university students to voluntarily befriend these adolescents based on trust and mutual respect and emphasized that sustainability can be reflected in the legislation and policies, developed by the Ministry of Social Development for the implementation of the "Friend Partnerships" programme, that is still under development between these institutions to rehabilitate the youths and integrate them into their communities.
The 3-day workshop has featured sessions on several topics, including the juvenile justice system and procedures in Jordan, the reality of non-custodial measures, the evaluation, priorities, and aspirations of the developed strategy as well as the identification of prevention and awareness-raising areas, the application of internal legislation and procedures, training, rehabilitation, juveniles, state security, aftercare and integration