Evaluating the effectiveness of Ghana's juvenile justice system in rehabilitating the offender
This dissertation critically examines the Juvenile Justice System in Ghana, with particular reference to its effectiveness in reforming the Juvenile offender. The research sought to ascertain what actually takes place at the Remand and Correctional facilities in comparison to the requirements of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2003. In particular, emphasis was placed on the effectiveness of programs aimed at reforming such offenders during their period of incarceration. Skills training and re-socialization programs offered at such institutions were examined to establish its efficaciousness. The methodology employed in evaluating the effectiveness of the Juvenile Justice Administration in Ghana included meetings held with members of the juvenile justice system, in Accra. Additionally visits were made to correctional homes and juvenile detention centers to conduct semi structured face to face interviews and questionnaire administration. Where appropriate, telephone interviews were used to garner information. The findings and analysis presented in this study consists mostly of information obtained from a qualitative study of a sample comprised of some workers and inmates of the Correctional Centers in Accra as well as a few legal practitioners involved in the Juvenile Justice System. The study postulates that, there is a major disconnect between the theory or legal provisions for the reformation of juvenile offenders and the actual practice. It was realized that the practices in the correctional homes to a certain extent do not match the provisions in the Juvenile Justice Act and this is as a result of the lack of resources to carry out the stipulated practices diligently. The restriction and conditions that come with detention however according to the study has the ability to deter the child from repeating an offence so as to avert such undesirable situations. The practices of the various stakeholders in the juvenile justice system need close monitoring and supervision to ensure conformity with the law governing the system so as to ensure the human resources offenders are well nurtured and harnessed for national development.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2013
Ghana, juvenile offenders, correctional facilities, justice