36 OBSERVATION HOMES TO BE CREATED FOR JUVENILE CONVICTS
NEW DELHI: With Parliament approving a more stringent juvenile justice bill that allows 16-to-18-year-olds accused of heinous crimes such as rape and murder to be tried as adults, the government has begun work on the next step of this key rehabilitation policy.
The women and child development ministry has approved the setting up of 36 borstals or observation homes across India where such juveniles will be kept post-conviction, instead of in regular prisons, till they turn 21.
“After that, his case will be reviewed by the Juvenile Justice Board. If the board feels there is still scope to reform the 21-yearold, he will be sent back to a borstal. Otherwise, he will have to go to an adult prison,” said a ministry official.
Presently, all juvenile (under18) offenders are kept in reform homes, irrespective of the severity of their crime. They can be confined for a maximum of three years.
“We don’t think it is prudent to put all of them together. A day after the juvenile justice bill was passed in Rajya Sabha, we approved the proposal to set up 36 borstals or observation homes across India,” women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi told Hindustan Times.