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Friday, May 22, 2020 - 10:21
 
UNMISS helped the judiciary and other justice services to hold hearings at a temporary location within the Juvenile Reformatory Centre.
 
During these hearings, judges prioritized the review of cases involving less serious offences which led to bail being granted to 85 young people to reduce congestion in the prisons during COVID-19.
 
Court hearings were for more than 118 young people on remand for alleged criminal activity have been completed at the Juvenile Reformatory Centre in Juba.
 
They began on 25 March as part of a national effort to reduce the backlog of juvenile cases awaiting trial and to decongest the Juvenile Reformatory Centre as part of the national effort to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
 
The juveniles received free legal representation and support from social workers assigned by the National Prison Service.
 
95 trials were held, resulting in 15 convictions and 40 juveniles were ordered to be released following trial because of insufficient evidence or because they had already served the time of their sentence.
 
The successful conclusion of these hearings is another step forward in improving the delivery of juvenile justice services in South Sudan and makes a significant contribution to the national-led effort to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
 
The initiative was led by the South Sudanese judiciary in coordination with the Ministry of Justice, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, National Prison Service and legal aid providers.
 
Since its establishment, UNMISS has supported the National Prison Service to run the new facility by developing standard procedures as well as a training manual to help strengthen the delivery of juvenile justice in South Sudan.
 

Catholic Radio Network

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Hai Jerusalem
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