A learner can commit a crime. Studies by the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR ) (2016) and the Center for the Study and Advocacy for the Protection and Quality of Life for Children, University of Indonesia (PUSKAPA) (2020) reviewing court decisions of first instance show that the majority of children who commit crimes, or are known as children who conflict with the law, has status as a learner.
Students who are in conflict with the law can experience various vulnerabilities that hinder them from obtaining optimal educational services. Our study found that children with the status of students in conflict with the law are at risk of dropping out, being expelled from school, or repeating the same grade in the following school year. Why did it happen?
Minimal support, full of stigma
Data for 2021 in Central Java, from Correctional Centers , a correctional technical implementation unit that oversees the function of assisting children in conflict with the law, shows that 45 out of 240 children in conflict with the law dropped out of school because they were expelled, asked to resign, and resigned. for personal reasons.
Students who are in conflict with the law are vulnerable to not getting educational services while participating in the judicial process. Based on monitoring conducted by KPAI, in the AGH case , he did not receive education while being detained by law enforcement officers at the Social Welfare Administration Institution (LPKS).
In addition, students who are in conflict with the law are also vulnerable to negative stigma from society. In the RSE case , for example, students at a junior high school in Temanggung, Central Java, who set fire to school facilities, received stigma from the public, including from the school itself, who called RSE’s actions a form of ‘seeking attention’. In fact, the Head of the Temanggung Resort Police (Kapolres) stated that RSE’s actions were taken due to hurt feelings due to bullying and did not receive a qualified response from the teacher.
What is the role of the school?
The education sector cannot remain silent when it knows that its students are in conflict with the law. From the analysis of the studies we conducted, there are three recommendations for support that schools can provide:
First , schools should not expel students while participating in the judicial process. A study shows that when schools use involvement in the justice system as a reason for expelling students, this actually makes students reluctant to participate back into education services.
Schools can also identify potential factors that can encourage students to withdraw from school, both from the family, the social environment, to the general public. By knowing this, schools can educate students and parents/guardians not to resign while participating in the judicial process.
Second , schools can provide recommendations regarding the provision of educational services while participating in the judicial process.
These recommendations were prepared by the school principal, homeroom teacher, and guidance and counseling teachers and contain plans for adjusting students’ teaching and learning activities according to the needs of students and school capacity. Schools can convey these recommendations through two channels, namely through diversion meetings or the transfer of settlement of child cases from the criminal justice process to processes outside of criminal justice and community research.
For the first track, Law (UU) 11/2012 and Government Regulation (PP) 65/2015 regulates diversion as a transfer of settlement of child cases from the criminal justice process to processes outside the criminal justice through deliberations between the child, the victim/child victim, the guardians, community counselors, law enforcement officials, and social workers from the investigation stage to trial.
The regulation also stipulates that teachers become parties involved in diversion meetings as long as the child or parent/guardian wishes. If involved, teachers can play an active role in diversion meetings to advocate for sustainability related to the provision of educational services for students based on the recommendations that have been prepared.
For the second path of involvement, schools can provide recommendations that have been prepared to social counselors at correctional centers (PK Bapas) as input for compiling community research.
Law 11/2012 states that community research contains background data and recommendations for children in conflict with the law, including aspects of their education.
While compiling community research, PK Bapas will collect data and information related to children. In this process, schools can submit themselves as parties providing data and information regarding children’s education. This data and information can be used by law enforcement officials to ensure the continuity of children’s education while participating in the judicial process and following court decisions.
Third , schools can adjust the provision of educational services as long as students follow the judicial process and undergo court decisions.
In this stage, the school implements plans to adjust students’ teaching and learning activities according to recommendations that have been communicated to law enforcement officials. For example, changing the learning method to online, providing additional assignments outside the classroom, to providing the facilities and infrastructure needed by students while undergoing adjustments to teaching and learning activities.
Then, if students undergo court decisions containing imprisonment, schools can coordinate with the education office and correctional institutions where students are detained to ensure the provision of alternative educational services in correctional institutions.
School support reduces future risks
Our study found that the varying lengths of time children are in correctional facilities makes it difficult for them to participate in formal education. As a result, children must be diverted to non-formal education. In practice, this transfer often encounters problems when children do not bring the required educational administrative data.
To overcome these obstacles, schools and education offices can provide educational administrative data for students. This data is used for the process of transferring students to educational services available in correctional institutions.
These various efforts are intended so that schools do not immediately expel students while at the same time ensuring educational service support as long as students follow the judicial process and undergo court decisions. Research proves that access to education services can make children get a better life, especially reducing the risk of future violations of the law and encouraging the process of reintegration when children return to society.
Author Bios: Hario Danang Pambudhi is a Research and Advocacy Officer and Ryan Febrianto is a Senior Strategist both at PUSKAPA