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Georgia: Juvenile Justice
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Georgia: Juvenile Justice
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A Small Act

Georgia has no specialized courts for children, so the country is working with UNICEF to introduce juvenile justice reforms. The aim is to avoid criminalizing young people unnecessarily, and instead find ways for them to become better members of society.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
Cameras and the art of filmmaking fascinate Tornike Shubitidze. He is 15 and wants to be a cameraman working in television and film. But last year he wasn't optimistic about his future. Tornike was charged with stealing a washing machine and faced four to seven years in prison for petty theft. Georgia has no specialized courts for children. However, under juvenile justice reforms supported by UNICEF, Tornike was released on 12 months probation. Now he attends filmmaking classes at the Rustavi Rehabilitation Center for Children in Conflict with the Law. The center helps to protect his rights and support him while on probation. Tornike was lucky to find work.
TORNIKE SHUBITIDZE
First of all, I will certainly buy a camera. I will spend more time to learn. I'll work more and try to become a cameraman.
VOICEOVER
Each young probationer is assessed. Social workers consult family members to develop a skills training program to help them reintegrate into society. Marika Natadze, team leader.
MARIKA NATADZE
The center is unique as it offers different kinds of services, including educational and vocational training, various activities focused on crime prevention, and on helping children return and be better reintegrated into society.
VOICEOVER
UNICEF is working to reduce the number of young people entering Georgia's criminal justice system. Some 200 legal professionals were trained in the rights and needs of juvenile offenders. Benjamin Perks, UNICEF's Deputy Representative.
BENJAMIN PERKS
The continuum of services that deal with children in conflict with the law are in line with international standards, and to the extent possible prevent the incarceration of children -- which is a last possible resort -- but also ensure that a cycle of criminality and imprisonment is not started. That as soon as possible rehabilitation and alternative processes for those children are developed.
VOICEOVER
Under Georgian law, probation is currently the only alternative to prison sentences. UNICEF will continue to work with the government on juvenile justice reform to protect the rights of children in conflict with the law and to ensure that no child is unnecessarily criminalized.
VOICEOVER
This report was prepared by the United Nations.