By Carolina Cortés Henríquez, director of Sename Atacama.
Currently, one of the priorities of the National Service for Minors (Sename) is to ensure that adolescents and young people, who have been in conflict with the law, have access to training and workshops focused on promoting the desired social reintegration, at the time of leaving. released, serve a sentence or finish their legal proceedings.
Likewise, the Adolescent Responsibility Law, No. 20,084, establishes that these young people must also have the facilities to continue their studies, both school and higher, so, since October 1, 2021, the service has put all its efforts to enhance the school preparation of those who have not yet finished this stage and to strengthen skills and provide tools to those who are interested in continuing to overcome barriers.
From that date, the Sename focused only on the area of justice and juvenile reintegration, by transferring the area of protection of the rights of children and adolescents to the Ministry of Social Development and Family, specifically to the National Service for Specialized Protection of Children. and Adolescence (Better Childhood), which is why Sename works, with all its senses, in public and private intersectoral contact. Getting society, as a whole, to become effectively involved with reintegration and understand it as a right is a huge challenge.
We assume the stigma that falls on the young people we serve, we know that it is not easy to understand the causes of their actions, which on many occasions are at odds with the law. In this context, we know that a large part of society falls into the cruel prejudice of socially condemning these adolescents thanks to the fact that most of the media insist on showing them in a sensational and morbid way, without any hint of a human rights approach. , nor empathy, not knowing the reasons for their behavior and the realities they have had to face, for being immersed in the most vulnerable and neglected sectors of the country, from the economic, social and also educational point of view. Understanding the phenomenon is the key to clearing prejudices and acting to transform.
As a service, we are concerned not to allow these young people to be segregated from the classroom for having committed a mistake or a crime in the course of their lives. With the prosecution carried out by courts is more than enough for any person, based on the fact that we live in a State of Law.
Fortunately, in the Atacama region, the interest in continuing their studies, finishing basic and secondary education and venturing into higher education has been increasing among adolescents who have committed crimes and who are currently serving a sentence or sentence. in free media programs or in the Juvenile Justice Center of Copiapó. This year, three students who have been attended by Sename, enrolled in trades and undergraduate careers. Two of them are studying at the university (in the second year) and a teenager entered a professional institute during 2022 to prepare and change her future. Likewise, there are more than 30 young people who are supported by the Socio-educational Care Program for Adolescents Deprived of Liberty and Free Environment (ASE), of the Gabriela Mistral Corporation, and a part of them also receive school reinforcement through the School Annex “Crisol ” inside the Center. We are clear that this is not an easy task. We know that strengthening the ties of the intersector and seeking the participation and understanding of the entire society, for the benefit of this youth -who generally have had a hard time since childhood- is an arduous task. From Sename, its officers and officials, there is a strong commitment to achieve this goal. Most likely, the other social actors also feel that it is necessary to point in this direction, and it is appreciated. However, the growing interest in getting ahead, the increase in self-confidence and the positive progress in self-esteem, is the engine that moves us to continue motivating young people to overcome barriers. We owe it to them.
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Education: The springboard for youth social reintegration | Digital medium The Northern Fox
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