In a concerning development, legislation addressing the detention of minors in adult prisons remains stalled since 2021.
As Philenews reports, recent data reveals minors under 18 held in a specialized wing of Central Prisons, sparking discussions on the urgent need for juvenile detention reforms.
As of August 22, 2023, a minor under 18 and two individuals under 21 find themselves in a unique facility designed to separate them from adult convicts. However, challenges arise as they share medical facilities with their older counterparts, raising questions about the efficacy of the current transitional solution.
During a Human Rights Committee session focused on "Juvenile Prisons, Operational Systems, and Measures Impacting Children’s Rights," concerns surfaced regarding the absence of regulations hindering the establishment of dedicated juvenile detention spaces.
The Ministry of Justice assures that the Central Prisons wing is a temporary measure. Once regulations are in place, a tender will be announced for a private entity to create a dedicated facility catering to the rehabilitation and support of juvenile offenders.
With Parliament members expressing reservations about outsourcing, a visit to Central Prisons on January 15, 2024, is scheduled, aiming to address concerns and engage with underage inmates directly.
Critical issues were exposed during the session, including the lack of separate juvenile courts and spaces.
The management gap in cases involving both adults and minors underscores the pressing need for comprehensive legislative action to safeguard the rights of young individuals entangled in the legal system.
[With information sourced from Philenews]