"I want to share my story with the young, not to repeat my mistake"

At the age of 17, he committed the crime and found himself in a prison where he spent five years. He says he would never allow himself to go through anything like that. Postpenal care showed him that he was not alone, that he could do better

Almir Panjeta for UNICEF
Sa 17 godina je počinio krivično djelo i našao se u zatvoru gdje je proveo pet godina. Kaže kako nikad ne bi sebi dozvolio da prođe kroz bilo šta slično. Postpenalna briga pokazala mu je da nije sam, da može bolje
07 July 2019

He was 17 years old and wanted to finish high school for motor vehicle drivers and get hired. He commits a criminal offence, ended in prison in Zenica. Later he was transferred to Orasje, where he came to conditional freedom.


"After all, a young man can easily fall back into bad company. Still, I would no longer allow myself to go through something like that. "


"When I got out of jail, much has changed in the meantime. I needed support because nobody can do anything alone. It's always easier when you have someone. I had family support, my mom was always there for me. Additionally, for me a significant amount of Support came from the support of the Center for Social Work, the Employment Agency - it meant I saw that I was not alone and could always be better, "Armin* tells us, who is 23 years old. After leaving prison, he found in the post-pentatory treatment that the Center for Social Work Bihać conducts in cooperation with other institutions, in UNICEF's "Justice for Every Child" program supported by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden.

"In Zenica, I immediately expressed my desire to continue my education, but there was no direction. I enrolled in electrical engineering and managed to finish it. I did everything that I could not to get into the cycle of boredom and tomfoolery, I applied to work in the kitchen, in the library, went to school, courses, sections, I trained ... fortunately I had a positive attitude and wanted to get past all that. With the support that I was greeted on the way out, I believe I can succeed, "Armin tells us.

Lejla Alagić, a psychologist at the Center for Social Work Bihać, the only one who is currently working on post-penal treatment with juveniles in conflict with the law, says that in Armin's, as in other hearings, she has established an entire support network:

"With the support of UNICEF and the Human Rights Bureau from Tuzla, we, as a Center, undertook what is within our competence. In the support network, there were also representatives of the Employment Agency, school representatives, and Armin's mother. It was important that he realized that he was not alone, that he had the support, and that he directed it towards a socially desirable goal. Through the group, we proposed to him several options, among which he made his own choice. The main option was to complete a school to be a qualified driver, which he accepted. He received counselling assistance from the Employment Service, offered a free German course and a course for welding. He also got a chance to get employed through the Association "Žene sa Une" today, "explained Lejla Alagić, adding that they regularly contact him:

"In the Center, for Armin, we have made an individual plan of activities, in order to help reintegrate it into society. We can get counselling and psychological support or simple conversation in our country. He came and we went to see him. We also provided additional support to his mother. She was an important source of support, but we needed to prepare and strengthen her as well. At the moment, the situation is good, the individual plan is adjusted and revised in accordance with the development of the situation, with Armin we are talking and consulting, and everything is going well, "says Lejla Alagic.

After leaving, Armin continued with his interrupted education, so that after the completion of the electrical school and will have only four exams to the title of a professional driver:

"I am satisfied with the current job I received with the support of the Association" Žene sa Une ", I work as a facilitator with migrants, I go to the camp, spend time with them, socialize, we engage in various activities. I know from my experience how much a man needs it when stuck indoors. We communicate in various ways, but we understand each other. I am happy because they can be a useful part of society, "he says, adding that he is ready to share his experience with young people so that they do not find themselves in a similar situation:

"I would like to talk to them and explain to them that it is not at all easy to go through the system as a juvenile in conflict with the law. I knew how to get out of it all and turn to the future. Not everyone can do that." said Armin, adding that he hopes that in the near future he will get a job in the profession he is educated:

“What happened to me stopped my education, but I did not want to give up at any moment."


"There were still seven other cases, three of them I passed, and I have four more. With a completed school, I have a state exam for drivers, and there are more opportunities for me. I'm not thinking about going out there. I was several times in Germany, and I simply do not have my peace there, "he says, adding that age is increasingly reflected on the founding of a family:

"First I want a stable job because I do not intend to marry before I realize everything I need. I want to provide my children with good conditions, and I want them to grow up in a stable family because the family is the basis of everything. Many of whom I encountered in prison came from dysfunctional families, and I will do everything to make my children grow up with both parents, "he concludes.

UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina, supported by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden, through multi-year initiatives supports strengthening the child protection system in line with the law. The activities of the "Justice for Every Child" program were implemented in partnership with the Human Rights Tuzla Biomass, and a special focus is on providing quality services for children who need institutional support through the security (police and judiciary) and the social protection sector - whether they are in the case of offenders, protected witnesses or victims of violence.


*Name changed to protect the identity of a minor