Spotlight: Juvenile Justice Systems
A recent report by the Defence for Children International (DCI) on juvenile justice systems in Latin America found that, as of 2014, Colombia had the second highest percentage of incarcerated juveniles in Latin America, second to Uruguay. Curiously, the country also has a notably high proportion of female adolescents in custody. However, these proportions differ based on the source of the data, with ICBF reporting 12.49% females instead of DCI’s reported 30%.
Primary concerns related to the Colombian juvenile justice system include facility overcrowding and degrading conditions and unsupported reintegration provisions that can leave youth stranded in detention centers after their release due to the absence of a guardian. These challenges are certainly not exclusive to the Colombian juvenile justice system, but were highlighted by DCI as areas requiring attention.