JOURNALIST

In July of 2010, Georgian Criminal Procedure Code was amended and discretionary prosecution was introduced. The new rules made it possible to develop programs, such as Juvenile Diversion Program. How does this new program work?

If there is a probably cause that a juvenile committed a less grave crime and he/she does not have a prior criminal record, then the prosecutor may decide to divert the juvenile from criminal prosecution.

When such a decision is made, the prosecutor will contact social worker and pass on the case-file of a juvenile to her. The social worker will then formulate a bio-psycho-social portrait of the juvenile and bearing in mind the juvenile's mental, physical and social conditions, will draw up civil contract. The contract will be signed by the juvenile, his/her parents, prosecutor, social worker and the victim of the crime. The victim is invited to participate in a conference with a juvenile. A concept of mediation (restorative justice) is used to develop terms of the agreement. The juvenile will be provided with the services that he/she needs. He will also be responsible to fulfill certain obligations. He will have to carry out a set of concrete actions.

The state and various non-governmental organizations will provide assistance to the juvenile. The goal of the program is to help the juvenile become an improved citizen of the society. That is why rehabilitation and the social integration of the juvenile is very important.

The social worker will monitor how well the juvenile follows the terms of the contract. There is a possibility that the juvenile will not benefit from this one chance and will breach the terms of the contract. In that case, the social worker will return the file of juvenile to the prosecutor. The prosecutor will then have the right to start or resume criminal prosecution against the juvenile.

Juvenile Diversion and Mediation Program was launched in 15th November, 2010. In 19th November first juvenile was diverted. The program is pilot and covers six cities of Georgia: Tbilisi, Rustavi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori and Samtredia. It is planned to expand program to the whole country.

STATISTICS Diverted 2323   /   Repeated Crime 60