Justice for All – path to effective and accessible justice system

Story of the Diverted Juvenile

UNICEF
Diverted Juvenile with Social Worker
UNICEF/Geo-2016/Gurgenidze

03 September 2018

Giorgi is 16 years old. A year ago he didn’t go to school and he spent his time on the streets. He had difficult relations with his mother, and Giorgi was placed under the state care. He lived in a small group home and in a crises centre for a while due to unfavorable conditions in his family. After he robbed a young man, while living on the streets, he was detained.

After having consultations with social workers who assessed his risks and needs, Giorgi was involved into the state diversion programme. The state programme has been effective in Georgia since 2010 with the support of EU and UNICEF and allows a juvenile who has committed less grave or grave crime to be diverted from the criminal prosecution and be involved in educational, sport and social activities. As of now more than 1150 juveniles have been diverted.

Giorgi had a psychotherapy course and took part in the Restorative Justice Programme which helped him to understand the harm he caused other people by committing his crime. After several consultations with social workers and psychologists, Giorgi is now reunited with his mother, re-enrolled in school, has participated in a number of rehabilitation programmes, and social and cultural events. He has new interests and is able to better manage his emotions and behavior. He is taking care of abandoned dogs in one of the shelters in Tbilisi.

Giorgi wants to become a doctor and is determined to continue his studies, and to learn several languages.

The juvenile justice reform started in 2008 with the support of EU, Embassy of the Netherlands in Georgia and UNICEF. The reform puts emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with the law into the society.