EULEX and the Basic Prosecution Office in Pejë/Peć Organize a Workshop on Police Warning and Juvenile Justice Diversion Measures

06 February

On 6 February 2024, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) together with the Basic Prosecution Office in Pejë/Peć organized the workshop “Police Warning and Juvenile Justice Diversion Measures” to discuss the challenges in implementing diversion measures in cases where a juvenile comes in conflict with the law.

22 prosecutors, judges, police officers, professional associates, and school principals, gathered to elaborate and discuss the importance of ensuring that diversion measures, such as police warning, should be the first option in dealing with cases of juvenile justice, as they can greatly contribute to rehabilitate and re-integrate the minors into their families and communities; prevent and avoid the negative effects of court proceedings; and prevent recidivism.

The EULEX Advisor to the Chief Prosecutor of Mitrovica Basic Prosecution Office, Meda Petronela-Grama, noted that, as in many other places, ensuring a fair and rehabilitative juvenile justice system in Kosovo can be sometime challenging, highlighting how: “Implementing diversion measures is crucial to redirecting young individuals away from the cycle of criminality. These measures, such as counseling, education, community service or police warning, provide a more constructive path for rehabilitation, fostering personal growth and responsibility.”  

The Chief Prosecutor of the Pejë/Peć Basic Prosecution Office, Agim Kurmehaj, pointed out the efforts done in promoting diversion measures through meetings with various relevant institutions with the aim to strengthening inter-institutional communication and accountability in juvenile justice-related matters. “We are witnessing a variety of crimes taking place lately. We need to discuss and draft new concepts and set objectives also to put in place prevention measures, and not only to react once the criminal act occurs, thus avoiding the harmful impact of the crime not only onto the society, but also on the minors’ future lives” emphasized Kurmehaj.

Commenting on the relevance of the workshop, the Juvenile Prosecutor of the Pejë/Peć Basic Prosecution Office and Trainer with the Kosovo Justice Academy, Sanije Seferi Gashi, explained how her Office can be considered as one of the pioneers in the application of diversion measure of police warning.

The workshop focused also on other issues directly impacting minors, such as the use of narcotic drugs and other substances and human trafficking.

One of the conclusions which stemmed from the workshop was to send the police warning forms elaborated by the prosecutor, to all police stations in Pejë/Peć region, to be used as a model.

The participants also agreed on the need to continue with such learning opportunities and on the necessity to raise awareness around these issue by also engaging parents and teachers.