The Juvenile Courts Service, is also a function of Community Based Corrections Branch within the Department of Justice and Attorney General, established under the Juvenile Courts Act (JCA) 1991


The aim of this important piece of legislation is to provide assistance to juveniles or children offenders from the time of arrest to detention to ensure that their interests, particularly the interest of their rights are being protected from the time of arrest and through out the criminal justice system. It is important that policies, procedures and decisions involving children in contact with the law must consider the age and vulnerability of the child.

The JCA also established the Office of Director – Juvenile Courts Services (also called Executive Director – CBC) and appoints Juvenile Court Officers (JCO) who are Public Servants and officers employed within the National Community Based Corrections Branch. The JCOs prepare and submit such reports and records as the Court or the Director may require and enforce the JCA for juveniles who have or have allegedly committed an offence. The JCO provide assistance wherever possible in accordance with the JCA and the principles on diversion and Restorative Justice.

The JCO’s are court officers and play and important advocacy role in coordinating assistance as and when required by juveniles. They work in partnership with volunteer juvenile court officers (VJCO) appointed from reputable non government agencies and churches.

JCOs also supervise juveniles placed on community based orders. VJCOs’ does also help to provide guidance and supervision of juveniles in the community. And Volunteer Juvenile Court Officers trainings are conducted yearly as and when required by provincial centers.

You can talk to or visit your local Community Correction Officers in your province for more information on volunteering.

What is the role of a Juvenile Court Officer (JCO)?

JCOs are located in all provincial centers including Tabubil, Maprik, Kainantu, Bulolo and Lihir.

A JCO will attend to the Juvenile as soon as he/she is notified of a juvenile’s apprehension at the police station.

At the police station, the JCO will:-

  • Identify him or herself;
  • Help determine age of the juvenile;
  • Identify the charge;
  • Tell the juvenile his/her constitutional rights;
  • Facilitate Diversions Options where possible;
  • Attend juvenile court sittings and coordinate assistance for the juvenile until proven guilty;
  • Coordinate repatriation of juveniles to juvenile institutions

(Please refer to the contact details for the Community Corrections Officers in your provinces to obtain more information on the roles of JCOs and how you can help in your province)

The Juvenile Court Services (JCS) also oversight the management of government approved juvenile institutions, namely, Erap Boys Town outside of Lae, in Morobe Province, Hohola Juvenile Justice Centre in Port Moresby and the Wewak Boys Town in Wewak, East Sepik Province. The JCS ensures that all juvenile institutions meet the minimum standards requirements as per the JCA and conforms to the relevant international conventions, treaties and protocols.

In the recent years, significant progress was made under the juvenile justice reform program. The reform program focused on a more Sect oral approach towards dealing with juveniles. As a result, the National Juvenile Justice Committee (NJJC) was formed in 2003 to oversight the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform system in PNG.

The NJJC is represented by the Magisterial Services, the Royal PNG Constabulary , PNG Correctional Services, Department of Education, National Judiciary Staff Services, Ombudsman Commission, UNICEF, Department for Community Development, Lukautim Pikinini Council and the Department of Justice and Attorney General chairs the NJJC and is the lead agency in co coordinating the Juvenile Justice Reform program across the country.

The Juvenile Justice Section of the CBC Branch provides Secretariat services to the NJJC and coordinates the implementation of the juvenile justice reform program on behalf of the Department of Justice & Attorney General.

Contact Juvenile Justice Service

More information on the NJJC, please contact the NJJC Secretariat on the following contact details;

The Chairman
National Juvenile Justice Committee
P O Box 4423
Boroko, NCD

PH: 325 2209 / 325 4948
Fax: 311 2881

Director Juvenile Justice