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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Juvenile justice in Cameroon 50 years after independence: what lessons can we learn from the 2005 criminal procedure code?
Author:Tabe Tabe, SimonISNI
Periodical:African Administrative Studies (ISSN 0007-9588)
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:juvenile justice
criminal codes
juvenile delinquency
crime prevention
Abstract:The changes introduced by the new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) on matters of juvenile justice are discussed and the shortcomings in the treatment of juvenile offenders (JOs) since the enactment of the new CPC are examined. In 2005, the Cameroonian Parliament passed a new CPC to introduce a uniform system of juvenile justice throughout the country. Until then, the major sources of procedural law in juvenile justice were the Criminal Procedure Ordinance in English-speaking Regions and the 'Code d'Instruction Criminelle' in French-speaking Regions of Cameroon. The new CPC notwithstanding, JOs are still grossly abused across the country. More special juvenile prisons are needed to protect JOs from the abuses of adult offenders. Juvenile detention centres should be provided with televisions, educational materials, books, beds and blankets. Judicial police and prison offers should be trained to correctly treat JOs. It would have been better if the 2005 CPC had followed the Ordinance in distinguishing between children (less than 14 years of age) and young persons (between 14 and 17 years). The government strategy for improving juvenile justice should focus on: 1. youth crime prevention; 2. providing JOs with meaningful consequences for their actions; and 3. the rehabilitation and reintegration of JOs. To this end, regular workshops should be organized involving judges, judicial police officers, social workers, prison administrators, children's services organizations, victims, parents, JOs, educators, advocacy groups and social policy analysts. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]