Design as a Tool for Reformation in the Juvenile Justice System through a Participatory Approach

Authors: Aishwarya Narvekar, Aishwarya Rane, Kamal Dahiya, Pankaj Yadav & Praveen Nahar

Reformation and rehabilitation of children below 18 years of age who come in conflict with the law is overseen by the Juvenile Justice System in India. (4) The system reinforces “reformation” over deterrence but has been largely inaccessible and lesser known for long. (3) Through its Children’s Homes, the system aims at reformation but the varying attitudes and lack of sensitization while dealing with children has affected what reformation means. This paper starts with a look at the reformation in the juvenile justice system through a human centred lens throwing light on the pain-points of stakeholders at multiple stages and challenges to reformation. It further expands on research methodology led by design. These methods centred around gamifying research process helped greatly to interact with the children in the sensitive environment to build a conducive atmosphere where real insights could be shared. The ability to empathize with the stakeholders and using the design process to identify their needs, prototype and test new frameworks with them gave us an advantage as designers. Through dialogue, workshops and interactive sessions in the homes; the children presented perspectives which questioned the current view of reformation. The paper concludes with design interventions to make reformation a participatory process led by child as a contributing element of the society and a model critiquing and questioning aspects of the current system.

Posted Oct-2019

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