The State government will immediately initiate action to set up special juvenile police units in all districts, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here on Monday.
Mr. Balakrishnan said he would write to the Director-General of Police and to the Home Secretary about this on Tuesday. Though every district should have the unit, only Kozhikode had one functional now.
He was inaugurating ‘Nanmayilekkoru Sammanam,' a rehabilitation scheme for inmates completing the age of 18 in institutions under the Juvenile Justice Board and for former inhabitants of such institutions. The board and the Department of Social Welfare are jointly implementing the scheme.
Under the scheme, 25 members of the Juvenile Home here will be trained as traffic wardens and five as volunteers at the Regional Cancer Centre.
Mr. Balakrishnan stressed the importance of guiding such children to choose one job or the other. Circumstances had made them commit crimes. After they left juvenile homes, there should be enough avenues for them to explore so that they did not revert to a life of crime. It was the duty of society to carve out employment opportunities for them.
Addressing the children of the Juvenile Home, he said society was reposing its faith on them by entrusting them with the jobs of traffic wardens and volunteers at hospitals. “You should live up to this faith,” the Minister told the children.
For the first time now, Kerala had its own prison rules, a Bill for which was passed by the Assembly on Monday. The Bill sought to ensure the mental transformation of those lodged in jails and had provisions for instituting a welfare fund for prisoners.
He said the government planned to institute an integrated child protection service.
In his presidential address, R.R. Kammath, Chief Judicial Magistrate, said this was the first time in his judicial career that he was present at a programme where children in juvenile homes were being given career opportunities. For many years, his life had more to do with punishing children who committed crimes. Being able to participate in the launch of such a programme was a great benediction.
Usha Titus, Secretary, Social Welfare, and City Police Commissioner M.R. Ajith Kumar were present.