With reform, new legislative powers, strategies and attitudes must become the corner stone of the CJS in dealing with children—from the political system and leaders to the patrol officer at the basic level. While it is an understandably complex process, it is imperative to have new laws implemented, new courts setup, retrained judges appointed, new rehabilitation centers built (not prisons) and police “reformatted” with new training and approaches towards dealing with children.
This new type of thinking must include the adoption of new reintegration and rehabilitation based strategies such as moving from the “Punishment” phase to a “Rehabilitation” phase for all crimes, regardless of the offence. Modern policing theory highlights the importance of remembering that all criminals (especially in the Western context), will eventually have an Expired Warrant meaning all criminals will eventually be released into our communities, will become our neighbors and become part of our societies. Therefore, all efforts must be exerted to provide them with as much education, help and tools as necessary to enable and encourage them to become productive members of society— after having served their rehabilitation sentences.
PROGRAMS TO CREATE NEW LIFE SKILLS:
With these new reforms, basic but imperative rules and policies need to be adapted. The CJS, policy-makers and police must realize that children must be provided with reduced sentences to help with rehabilitation into society. Numerous rehabilitation options and alternative measures should be legislated to provide official guidance to CJS and the police.
These alternative measures can consist of community service; anger management courses, conflict resolution, elementary and high school education, life skills, trades and technical courses that would help them find themselves and future employment in society. This is in addition to medical and psychological services—which must be provided to address other issues.