AN APPRAISAL OF JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA: ADVOCATING FOR THE RIGHTS OF CHILD OFFENDERS
Juvenile justice is a track within the criminal justice system which aims to protect children from the harshness of the criminal procedures. Juvenile justice addresses three categories of children: those in need of care, those beyond parental control and children in conflict with the law. The aim of the system is to rehabilitate, reform and release children for proper integration into society. However, many systemic lapses violate the rights of these children instead of protecting them. It is these anomalies that have prompted this study, with the aim of advocating for the protection of these vulnerable children. This work analyses the legal frame work that provides for the protection of children in the criminal justice system and X-rays those factors that compromise these protections and exacerbate violations on the rights of the child. The work discovered that our juvenile justice falls abysmally lower in standard than what is obtainable in other jurisdictions and advocates for a positive change. Accordingly, the work recommends for review of our legal framework, particularly the review of 1999 Constitution (as amended), the adoption and implementation of the Childâ€™s Right Act by every state in Nigeria, adoption of diversion programmes and collaboration with various non-governmental organisations and communities.