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Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa

Research Discussion: JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AND PREVENTION: PERSPECTIVES ON CHILD JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA

By Iyabo Ogunniran

Posted on 07 March 2011



Juvenile delinquency and prevention: Perspectives on child justice administration in Nigeria

Due to increase in the rate of juvenile delinquency in several countries, different approaches have been adopted to deal with the issue. Sometimes, using the extreme measure of “graduated sanctions.” However, the current thinking is that a juvenile justice system which fails to address the social and economic circumstances of young people will inevitably fail to have the desired effect. This writer aligns with the view that prevention is fundamental in juvenile justice reforms.

Against this backdrop, this paper - through studies and official data - attempts to show the nature of juvenile offending in Nigeria. In general, that juvenile offenders are prone to status and property offences and there are more male compared to female offenders. In terms of age classification, there are more offenders in the age bracket of 14-17 years compared to under 14 years.

This writer argues that these are prognoses for prevention. Some of the various crime/delinquency methods have been adopted in Nigeria. Hence, the nature of juvenile offending could be used to address the pattern. Also, the Draft National Policy on Child Justice Administration in Nigeria and the National Plan of Action on CRC/CRA 2009-2015 encompass juvenile delinquency prevention measures targeted towards this goal. The writer calls for the urgent activation of the strategies embodied therein to complement child justice administration in Nigeria.



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