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Overview and Improvements of Social Settlement Support Projects for Protected Juveniles: A Case Study of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association
Overview and Improvements of Social Settlement Support Projects for Protected Juveniles: A Case Study of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association
Language
Korean
Authors
, , ,
Date
January 31, 2022
ISBN
979-11-91565-43-0

Abstract

It is necessary not just to prevent juvenile crimes but also to provide systematic support and protection to help protected juveniles including former youth detention center inmates to return to society in a healthy way. The Ministry of Justice stated the concept of ‘social settlement support’ and specified social settlement support projects with an amendment to the Act of the Treatment of Protected Juveniles in 2016. Subsequently, follow-up guidance, academic activity-connected support, and employment matching for former youth detention center inmates were provided such as Hope Helper Scheme and Hope Dream Project. With an increased workload among staff in youth detention centers due to long-term social settlement support, however, social settlement support projects have been shifted into discretionary projects since 2018. At a time when the Ministry of Justice lacks physical and human resources to take care of former inmates, it is urgently needed to utilize resources of the private sector. As a private-sector institution, the Korean Juvenile Protection Association has been responsible for supporting the projects that help former youth detention center inmates and adolescents in crisis to settle in society for the last two decades and is capable of systematically supporting protected juveniles to settle in society through collaboration with the Ministry of Justice. Despite its long operating experience, it has a lack of legal basis for its operations such as organization and budget and applicable regulations for personnel and budget to systematically operate social settlement programs. First, there is a lack of legal basis to operate social settlement support facilities. As the Act of the Treatment of Protected Juveniles, which serves as the legal basis, is limited only to ‘protected juveniles’ admitted to youth detention centers and the Juvenile Classification Review Board, adolescents in crisis, who have a history of juvenile delinquency, are excluded from services and the budget has been slashed in a government subsidies evaluation due to social settlement services for such juveniles. Nothing is stated in law about qualification and assignment standards for staff in social settlement support facilities under the Korean Juvenile Protection Association unlike child welfare facilities or adolescent welfare facilities. While there are adolescent self-reliance shelters and adolescent startup vision centers in the Korean Juvenile Protection Association, there is no regulation to establish such facilities. In addition, no regulation is put in place for the performance evaluation of social settlement support projects. Second, since regulations about recruitment and personnel standards are not clear to manage human resources in the Korean Juvenile Protection Association, they are decided arbitrarily by the President or operated without going through an amendment procedure. Third, the number of adolescents using self-reliance shelters and startup vision centers is decreasing annually. Improvements need to be made as occupant adolescents fail to settle, leave or escape due to strict everyday life control and an atmosphere like youth detention centers. One of the reasons is that education programs are being reduced due to budget difficulties. Fourth, social settlement support in the Korean Juvenile Protection Association is being reduced. Although support projects are provided annually with government subsidies and donations, startup incubation training centers close down or scholarship support is decreasing due to slashed government subsidies and decreased donations. Revenue in the Korean Juvenile Protection Association itself is decreasing as well. Fifth, while the Korean Juvenile Protection Association is governed by the Act of the Treatment of Protected Juveniles, its operations are not guided or supervised by the Ministry of Justice or another upper-level authority. Sixth, the Korean Juvenile Protection Association cannot continue to provide follow-up due to a shortage of staff. If many resources and people are not provided to the Korean Juvenile Protection Association to continue to manage social settlement support, juveniles can be exposed to another juvenile offense. Therefore, follow-up management needs to be conducted. The following improvements need to be made for the Korean Juvenile Protection Association to provide stable social settlement support: First, the role of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association needs to be re-established. Although it provides social settlement support projects based on law by the Ministry of Justice, independence needs to be ensured in projects and it should faithfully serve as a bridge for social settlement so that it can organically connect with the private sector to utilize local community resources. In addition, the Korean Juvenile Protection Association should play a role as an institution which provides a social settlement opportunity to protected juveniles, not a second youth detention center or some another detention center. The Korean Juvenile Protection Association should provide services in accordance with demand from applicable juveniles and offer human and physical support so that it can provide longer support than other traditional adolescent support projects. Second, laws regarding social settlement support need to be overhauled. Since the Act of the Treatment of Protected Juveniles is currently only limited to ‘protected juveniles’, it is needed to legislate another law about social settlement support to protect adolescents exposed to juvenile delinquency or at the risk of such exposure or consider creating an additional chapter regarding social settlement support in the Juvenile Act. While the articles of incorporation of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association limit social settlement support methods to housing, employment, startup, scholarship, and care support, it would be necessary to additionally cover support for protected juvenile family, psychological consultation and therapy support, and follow-up guidance. The articles of incorporation of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association should specify the type and job description of officer, add ‘causing material harm to the Korean Juvenile Protection Association by negligence or gross misconduct’ as a dismissal reason, create a provision about the qualification and limitation of the President, and revise a quorum to amend the articles of incorporation. It is important to put in place the review system for discharge in terms of shelter operations, re-establish everyday life guidelines considering the circumstances of adolescents, and improve discharge measures for suicide attempters. Third, improvements need to be made for organizations and personnel related to social settlement support. In the Enforcement Decree of the Act of the Treatment of Protected Juveniles, it is necessary to specify the type of occupation, assignment standards, and qualification standards for employees in the Korean Juvenile Protection Association. To better treat employees, it is needed to improve a low wage system and poor working environment and provide professional education to strengthen the response competences of employees. Fourth, it is important to secure stable social settlement support budget. Government cooperation and support are needed to provide government subsidies for labor costs so that social settlement support can continue. In an evaluation for government subsidies, it is necessary to establish realistic performance indicators, instead of the evaluation practice used in other typical adolescent agencies. Fifth, it is important to promote social settlement support programs. The scope of eligible support recipients must be extended from juvenile offenders to adolescents in crisis at the risk of being exposed to juvenile delinquency. Social settlement support programs need to be institutionalized so that they can be provided to inmates in youth detention centers at least 3 months before their discharge. Personalized plans should be established and implemented for different adolescents eligible for support. Regular Ministry of Justice-level investigations need to be conducted in facilities under the Korean Juvenile Protection Association, and improvements reflecting the results of such investigations should be made. To improve the image of self-reliance shelters, it is important to stay away from strict everyday life rules, establish personalized rules, and turn into small-scale facilities to build an atmosphere like home. Support for psychological stability needs to be offered to help residents in self-reliance shelters to settle in a stable way. A consultative body which supports self-reliance shelters in the local community needs to be established as well. Startup vision centers must transition into an education style that helps juveniles to find their future goal and vision, not as an extension of education in youth detention centers, provide long-term step-wise job training, and diversify service resources by connecting with private-sector resources, employment agencies, and external resources. Sixth, it is necessary to regularize channels through which the Ministry of Justice and private-sector organizations work together. The Ministry of Justice should make efforts to provide government subsidies to cover staff labor costs in the Korean Juvenile Protection Association so that social settlement support can continue. It needs to be institutionalized to make a dedicated social settlement team permanent in youth detention centers, monitor inmates before their discharge, and share discharge plans with the Korean Juvenile Protection Association. To continue support in the local community after social settlement support from the Korean Juvenile Protection Association, it is also worth considering connecting the Korean Juvenile Protection Association with private-sector organizations.

Seunghyun Lee

Criminal Law&Policy, Criminal Justice Reform

Senior Research Fellow

Seunghyun Lee's picture

Research Interest (Major)

Juvenile Justice, Criminal Sanction, Domestic Violence & Child Abuse

Education/Professional Experience

Hanyang University, Ph.D in Criminal Law, Seoul, Korea, 2007.

Hanyang University, M.A. in Criminal Law, Seoul, Korea, 2003.

Cheongju University, B.A. in Law, Cheongju, Korea, 2000.

Adjunct Professor, Hanyang Cyber University in law, Seoul, Korea, 2019.

Member, adivisory committee of children-friendly Justice, UNICEF, Korea, 2019.

Member, adivisory committee of Female & Children Policy, Ministry of Justice, Korea, 2019.

Report List

Protection and Assistance for Victims of Sexual Violence Following the Abolition of Offense Subject to Complaints

Overview and Improvements of Social Settlement Support Projects for Protected Juveniles: A Case Study of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association

Comprehensive Policy for Developing Scientific Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science (Ⅳ) - Review of relevant laws and policies on national security and human safety

Strengthening the Forensic Science in Korean Criminal Justice System(Ⅲ)

Treatment of Juvenile Detention Centers: Focusing on Disposition No. 8

The Scope and Limitations of Open Investigations: Focusing on Photo-Line

Revision Measures of the System of the 「Criminal Procedure Act」 - Focused on Investigation Procedure -

Improving Conditional Suspension of Prosecution for Juvenile Offenders

Social Safety Net Reinforcement: Reducing and Preventing Domestic Violence

Improving the Halfway House System for Delinquent Juveniles: Focused on the Protective Disposition No.6

Responding Juvenile Violent Crimes: Trend of Overseas Maneuvers and Its Implications

The Types and Countermeasures of Youth Cyber Violence

Effectiveness Analysis on Policies Regarding Underage School Violence Perpetrators

Enhancing Effectiveness of Protective Disposition No. 8 through Its Outcome Analysis

Criminal Justice Responses to Juvenile Bullying

Soojin Kwon

Criminal Justice Reform, Criminal Law&Policy

Research Fellow

Soojin Kwon's picture

Research Interest (Major)

Criminal Law, Criminal Policy

Report List

Mental Health Court and Forensic Psychiatric Ward

Improvement of Whistleblowing System for Public Interest

Mental Health Care at Juvenile Reformatories

Assessment Study Criminal Justice Policy and Judicial System (XI): Medical Treatment within Korean Correctional Facilities

Improving the Open Treatment System

Improving Correctional Treatment to Support the Inmate's Child Rearing

Criminal Sanction on Corporate Activity(Ⅱ) -A Theory of Criminal Punishment on Corporations-

Criminal Sanctions Against Cartels

Strengthening the Forensic Science in Korean Criminal Justice System(Ⅲ)

Home Detention System

A Study on Operational Output for 10 Years of Private Prison and Development Plan

Overview and Improvements of Social Settlement Support Projects for Protected Juveniles: A Case Study of the Korean Juvenile Protection Association

Treatment of Elderly Inmates in Prisons(Ⅱ)

Sunyoung Park

Sunyoung Park's picture

Report List

Giwon Go

Giwon Go's picture

Report List

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Korean Institute of Criminology and Justice Official Video

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