Title: SHELTER provides free legal aid services for juveniles
Date: 22-Sep-2009

SHELTER has taken a lead role in Malaysia on juvenile justice issues, and is working with families and other caregivers of children who are involved in the juvenile justice system. After school hours, children are more likely to get into trouble. Children who are in conflict with the law are detained and later released from prisons, detention centres or other settings. It is critical that they are successfully transited back into stable and appropriate placements which in turn provide them with positive living skills.

SHELTER’s Juvenile Justice Advocacy Programme is based upon the premise that we provide free legal assistance and advice to the parents of these children so as to avoid further issues like involving in gangsterism, crimes, illegal activities etc and provide them with real opportunities for reform and success. We recognize that if issues related to children go unaddressed, there may be long-lasting consequences. Aid is also extended to boys in prison to gain access to education, health care, mental health and social services. The importance of this programme is to educate juvenile offenders of their basic legal rights, such as their right to legal advice and representation.

SHELTER Home for Children through the Malaysian Prisons Department started the Educational Development Programme for juveniles in Kajang Prison sometime in 2005 and initiated the setting up of Sekolah Integriti Kajang (Kajang Integriy School).

The boys awaiting trial are too poor to afford bail. SHELTER assists in liaising with the relevant authorities including the courts to expedite hearings and assist parents in court procedures.


Where applicable,

-  SHELTER staff interview the offenders involved.

-  SHELTER contacts family members and assists them in bail application or in appealing to court for sentences to be reduced.

-  Certain cases are referred to our panel of lawyers who provide free services for deserving cases.


SHELTER works closely with the Courts, Prosecution Officers and the Welfare Department on cases concerning the detention of juvenile offenders or boys who have committed crime. We are also exploring the possibility of having a working relationship with The Attorney General’s Chamber, The Legal Aid Bureau and The Bar Council on such matters.

Our free legal consultation service is preferably for children below the age of 18 years who have committed an offence. The service is provided from Mondays to Fridays during office hours. We accept referrals from parents, probation officers, relatives, judges, school personnel and members of the public.

(UPDATE : this service is no longer available as it has been discontinued)

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