By Joseph Mudingu
Amidst cheers from the crowd watching the volley ball game, one can hardly believe that these kids having a time of their life are juveniles who, having committed various, crimes are undergoing rehabilitation here in Nyangatare rehabilitation center.
Until the twentieth century, throughout the world there was little difference between how the justice system treated adults and children. Age was considered only in terms of appropriate punishment, and juveniles were eligible for the same punishment as adults, including the death penalty.
Over the course of the last century, attitudes toward the most vulnerable; children and women who committed crimes began to change.
These persons in detention are often completely forgotten. Confronted with problems of extreme poverty, developing countries struggle to ensure that their prison population receives adequate attention.
The lack of food and water, the absence of hygiene and medical care, and a constant lack of privacy makes the weakest even more fragile.
Minors and women, who are the active force in these societies, are victims of abuse and acts of violence at the hands of men.
According to Musitu Charles the Commissioner for Rehabilitation and Reintegration in society at RCS says minors are very vulnerable and should have the right to be brought up like the rest in spite of the fact that they committed offences.As an example, children should not be sentenced but they are subject to a “disposition,” and the focus in the juvenile system is not on punishment or retribution but rehabilitation and restitution.