On November 13, 2014 an order was launched by the Minister of Justice, which made some significant changes in Juvenile Diversion and Mediation Program. The aim of the changes is to move the program closer to the restorative justice principle. According to these changes a prosecutor will be able to diverse a juvenile not only for less sever but also for grave offence. Mediator’s role is increasing in the diversion process, after a prosecutor makes a juvenile diversion decision; the mediator will meet with the victim and will offer him to participate in the mediation process.
Juvenile Diversion and Mediation Program was launched in 15th November, 2010. On November 19th, 2010 first juvenile was diverted. Since August 2013, the program covers the whole country.
If there is a probably cause that a juvenile committed a less grave crime and he/she does not have a prior criminal record, then the prosecutor may decide to divert the juvenile from criminal prosecution.
When such a decision is made, the prosecutor will contact social worker and pass on the case-file of a juvenile to her. The social worker will then formulate a bio-psycho-social portrait of the juvenile and bearing in mind the juvenile’s mental, physical and social conditions will draw up civil contract. The contract will be signed by the juvenile, his/her parents, prosecutor, social worker and the victim of the crime. The victim is invited to participate in a conference with a juvenile. A concept of mediation (restorative justice) is used to develop terms of the agreement. The juvenile will be provided with the services that he/she needs. He will also be responsible to fulfill certain obligations. He will have to carry out a set of concrete actions.
The state and various non-governmental organizations will provide assistance to the juvenile. The goal of the program is to help the juvenile become an improved citizen of the society. That is why rehabilitation and the social integration of the juvenile are very important.
The social worker will monitor how well the juvenile follows the terms of the contract. There is a possibility that the juvenile will not benefit from this one chance and will breach the terms of the contract. In that case, the social worker will return the file of juvenile to the prosecutor. The prosecutor will then have the right to start or resume criminal prosecution against the juvenile.