Minor offenders in
remand homes will no longer travel to court for trial.
The Justice Law and
Order Sector-JLOS has decided to conduct court sessions at remand homes to avoid
exposing the minor offenders to COVID-19 infection while seeking justice.
Jane Stella Ogwang, the Principal Probation and
Social Welfare Officer in the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry
disclosed this while opening the first court session at Naguru Remand Home.
She explained that
court officials in Charge of respective cases shall handle them at the seven
remand homes across the country.
She says there was need to ensure that
justice prevails even amidst the lock-down while protecting the inmates.
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Mary Kyomugisha Onoria,
the Probation and Welfare Officer at Naguru Remand Home, says the new
initiative will help them to deal with more cases while protecting the children
who would otherwise be exposed to diseases in the process of seeking justice.
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High Court Judge Wilson Kwesiga conducted the first session
at Naguru with 20 child suspects lined up on the cause list. Kwesiga
said sessions are interactive and focused towards reforming the children.
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There are currently 138 inmates at Naguru Remand Home, 92 on face capital offenses.
defilement, robbery and theft top the list. While some of these cases
are a result of poor parenting as observed by a social worker at
Naguru, Justice Kwesiga points to other cases of transferred malice where
guardians and other adults used children to fight own battles.
He asked government to
further develop rehabilitation centers where these children can be taken to
acquire better life skills.
At Naguru, judicial officers also met local
leaders to sensitize them on how to handle conflicts involving children.
They were encouraged to
use their Local Council offices to resolve some of the matters arising in the
community rather than taking them to police and courts of law.
Godfrey Batukyaye, the Kireka D Village Secretary who had come at the Center,
says LC need to be sensitized further on their roles in resolving conflict in