Possible new path for older juveniles

Giving young people more rehabilitation options will help keep them out of jail, reducing their exposure to incarcerated high-risk adults.
Giving young people more rehabilitation options will help keep them out of jail, reducing their exposure to incarcerated high-risk adults.PHOTO: ST FILE

If you are 16 years or older when you break the law, chances are, you could be sent to prison. That is why social workers are cheering a proposed change to the law that would give more leeway to how older juvenile offenders are dealt with.

The proposed change to the Children and Young Persons Act, which was tabled in Parliament on Aug 5, will extend the provision for the welfare, care, protection and rehabilitation to cover those below 18 years old. It currently covers only those below 16 years old.

Experts say the changes could help young people who may be developmentally delayed because of adverse childhood experiences.

Giving them more rehabilitation options will help keep them out of jail, reducing their exposure to incarcerated high-risk adults.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 18, 2019, with the headline 'Possible new path for older juveniles'. Print Edition | Subscribe