Justice authorities are working on the implementation of the 'Restorative Justice' project, which shifts the focus towards mediating and rehabilitating those who find themselves in conflict with the law.
Widely used across the most developed countries, restorative justice focuses on juveniles who commit penal offenses by engaging them in psychiatric treatment, psychology and education in order to not stay in penitentiary institutions.
Justice Minister, Etilda Gjonaj, said that, in cooperation with the Municipality of Tirana, 5 centers will be built and tasked with handling cases where juveniles are the ones in conflict with the law and the measures to be taken to avoid re-offending once they have exited the institution.
"The Penal Justice Code for juveniles provides for the realization of rehabilitation activity through the establishment of a Center for the Prevention of Offending by Minors and Juveniles, which aims at the supervision and protection of juveniles after the punishment according to legal definitions and provisions.
"This institution is expected to be established by the 1st of January 2019. It will take all necessary measures regarding the implement of rehabilitation activity for juveniles upon termination of the sentence period.
"This center will work in co-operation with other competent authorities to ensure all the necessary support and supervision is provided for a period of six months from the end of the served sentence.
"The agreement that we have made with the Municipality of Tirana will also be applied in the other municipalities.
"This agreement makes available the probation service institution to the social center,under the administration of the Municipality of Tirana, for the purpose of implementing programs and the duties assigned to implement preventative measures for juveniles in conflict with the law," said Etilda Gjonaj
SP MP VasilikaHysi said that there have been continuing efforts in order to maintain restorative justice as one of the 7 pillars of the justice reform.
"It is very difficult to move on from the mentality of penal justice to restorative justice.
"I would like this restorative justice not to be offered to those who simply have the most money or a better lawyer, but to be offered to those in need, to those who, because of environmental and social circumstances make mistakes in life.
"Imprisonment is not necessarily the best solution for them. Our prisons should contain senior corrupt officials, dodgy businessmen and people connected with the world of crime and drugs," explained Vasilika Hysi.
According to professionals and experts, mediation is judged as one of the most effective methods in preventing reoffending, especially for juveniles.