Handbook for the Adolescent Criminal System

August 12, 2016

The Ministry of Justice and the Tutator Foundation and Progettomondo are preparing a specialized manual of socio-educational measures to be applied in the adolescent penal system. It seeks to implement restorative mechanisms in the population between the ages of 14 and 18 who have committed a criminal offense.

The representatives of the Social Management Service (Sedeges), the courts for children and adolescents, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Special Force to Combat Violence (Felcv), the Bolivian Police and the Departmental Directorate for the Prison System began preparing the manual yesterday.

The promulgation of Law 548, the Children’s and Adolescents’ Code, created the penal system for adolescents, with the aim of providing specialized and differentiated prosecution from that of adults and, furthermore, in observance of their condition as persons in the process of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, moral and social development.

However, given the lack of a specific manual, the Ministry of Justice, Tutator and Progettomondo Foundation are preparing a specialized manual on social and educational measures in the adolescent criminal justice system.

The objective is to provide justice personnel with tools to carry out their functions, based on national and international guiding principles on children and adolescents matter and on standards of restorative justice.


The Deputy Minister of Justice for Fundamental Rights, Diego Jiménez, reported that in our system adolescents with criminal responsibility between the ages of 14 and 18 cannot serve their sentence, like any adult, but rather must be treated differently with mitigating measures, but above all with socio-educational measures.

“These adolescents must be cared for by the social management services (Sedeges), with psycho-technical, psychological and educational support so that they can rejoin society and understand the damage they have done,” he said.

He explained that this would be a new way of understanding justice, not as a sanction or punishment, but as “restorative justice”. For this reason, the manual of executions will be evaluated and statistical indicators will be developed, which will allow the progress of implementation to be measured at the national level.


According to the Vice-Minister, adolescents who are confined in the same system as adults have a tendency to reoffend and even become more experienced, “they are re-victimized and therefore become potential criminals.

In contrast, when adolescents are brought into the juvenile system, the rate of relapse is minimal, because adolescence is the period in which a personality is formed.

Progettomondo’s director, Roberto Simoncelli, said it is very important that justice officials, judges, prosecutors, but also social service operators, in order to apply the spirit of the new Code, prioritize measures in “freedom” so that adolescents can be rehabilitated.

“This instrument tries to apply the high conceptual, theoretical challenges; the principles and the approach of law based on the Code with the real difficulties of resources and social services,” he said.

He considered the new Code for Children and Adolescents to be one of the best in the region, “it is a historical milestone in terms of legal regulations, it is one of the most progressive laws. It is time to apply the challenges and understand the concept of freedom and responsibility.


To conclude, the head of the Tutator Foundation for Bolivia, Adrian Piejko, said that since five months ago and in support of the Ministry of Justice, three manuals are being prepared: the specialized manual for the execution of socio-educational measures in the criminal system for adolescents; jurisdictional and investigative procedures of the Ministry of Justice and the Court of Justice; specialized defense manual with the Ministry of Public Defense.

“Based on these three manuals, it will be possible to make these instruments technological in order to make the manuals operational for judges, prosecutors, etc., and to contribute to their application and compliance,” he said.

Written by Eldiario.net, Posted on  Augus 12, 2016



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