'Diversion' is a process of channelling children away from the formal court system to programmes that are reintegrative. Diversion happens when a child acknowledges responsibility for the act and both they and their respective parents or guardians agree to go the Diversion route. Diversion allows a child to avoid the stigmatising and often brutalising effects of the criminal justice system as well as affording the child the opportunity to avoid a criminal record. Divers...
'Diversion' is a process of channelling children away from the formal court system to programmes that are reintegrative. Diversion happens when a child acknowledges responsibility for the act and both they and their respective parents or guardians agree to go the Diversion route. Diversion allows a child to avoid the stigmatising and often brutalising effects of the criminal justice system as well as affording the child the opportunity to avoid a criminal record. Diversion in essence teaches children to be responsible for their actions and teaches them the life skills to avoid further trouble. Diversion is very closely linked to the concept of restorative justice. Restorative justice is about offenders making amends for what they have done and trying to heal relationships between offenders and their victims, families and communities.
Diversion Options Offered by Khulisa
'Being Positively Cool’ – Junior ‘Mini’ Diversion Programme:
8 weeks, for youth aged 8 – 13
‘Being Positively Cool’ – Senior ‘Mini’ Diversion Programme:
8 weeks, for youth aged 14-18 who have committed less serious offences
‘Being Positively Cool’ – Senior Diversion Programme:
16 weeks, for youth aged 14-18 who have committed more serious offences
‘Facing Your Shadow’ – Sexual Diversion Programme:
16 weeks programme for youth aged 14-18 who have committed a sexual offence
Diversion Orders include:
- Oral/Written Apology
- Reporting Order
- Supervision and Guidance
- School Order
- Family Time Order
- Positive Peer Association
- Symbolic Restitution
- Community Service
- Family Group Conferencing
- Victim Offender Mediation
Each programme will include one or more of the following outcomes:
- Development of self awareness
- Development of self management skills
- Building self esteem and self image
- Replace negative behaviour with positive behaviour
- Understanding the impact of behaviour on self and other people
- Rebuilding of damaged relationships in the community
- Empowering self in peer relationships
Children aged 8 – 18 who have committed a Category 1 or 2 offence and have been approved by the court for diversion to a community programme. The programmes also include at-risk children who are referred by schools, social workers, family or community members.
The programme is delivered over the time frame indicated by the type of programme selected by the court. The programme will be offered at a venue most accessible by the participants within the court district. The programmes are delivered by suitably qualified facilitators.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Facilitators complete a pre-programme assessment to establish the needs of the child. Both the child and the parents are interviewed to gain this information.
- Children complete a pre and post behaviour assessment to indicate changes in behaviour as a result of the programme.
- The parents and children are contacted 3, 6 and 12 months post programme to establish whether behaviour change has been maintained and whether they have committed any further offences.
S.S., a Divertee from Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal says, “I was caught stealing a box of stock cubes from a supermarket and soon found myself in a police station in town, charged with theft and the possibility of a criminal record. I was so angry at my helplessness and poverty. Rather than be sentenced, I was assigned to a social worker who enrolled me into Khulisa’s Diversion programme. That facilitator gave me personal attention and taught me about how to handle life. Soon my problems changed into opportunities. Now I want to plan my day. I feel so alive."
Our Early Intervention Programmes
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