In 2007, Nicaragua had a very progressive law on juvenile justice which included providing for alternatives to detentions for the adolescents in conflict with the law. This law was passed in 1998 but implementation had stalled for various reasons:
In 2007, in partnership with Terre des hommes Foundation, Tutator started to work with the Supreme Court in Managua on a project to reform the juvenile justice system based on the application of the current law promoting restorative justice and alternatives to detention.
The first phase of the project consisted in an evaluation of the juvenile justice process and the development of a new procedural code for juvenile justice. Once this new code was developed and approved by the Supreme Court, Tutator and Terre des Hommes assisted in its implementation: hiring, training and deploying multidisciplinary teams (typically a psychologist, a social worker and an educator) in the offices across the country responsible for the implementation of the alternative to detention measures and the individualized follow up of each of the adolescents.
Once these offices were staffed and functioning, Tutator started working on specification, development and deployment of a case management system for the Juvenile Justice system in the country. That software was called Kaikaia from a local dialect word meaning “Monitoring”.
The goals of the Kaikaia software were:
- Ensure that the use of the new procedural code was documented and enforced for every case.
- Help provide individualized attention to each and every adolescent in the system
- Protect the right to privacy of every adolescent in the system
- Provide transparency and traceability of the juvenile justice process
- Allow operators of the juvenile justice system to focus their time on helping the adolescent instead of filling up paperwork.
- Integrate into the existing paper base framework (input / output)
- Provide office, department and country level statistics to enable data-based policy decisions for the juvenile justice system.
This case management tool was successfully deployed in all 17 regions of the country in early 2010 and today every minor in conflict with the law in Nicaragua can benefit from restorative measures if/when the judge decides that deprivation of liberty can be avoided.
This judge, as well as the team responsible for the follow-up of this kid, have instant access to the status of the case through the use of the Kaikaia system and, depending on what they see, they can decide to make necessary adjustments to the various measures.