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Chile: Regulations of the Law Establishing a Criminal Responsibility System for Juvenile Delinquents

(Nov. 2, 2007) On 13 December 2006, the President of Chile issued Supreme Decree 1,378 approving the Regulations of Law 20,084 of 2005, which establishes a Criminal Responsibility System for Juvenile offenders. The regulations address the rights of adolescents in the Chilean criminal law system, including, among other things, their right to a treatment which respects their human rights, development, dignity, social integration, to be informed of their rights and responsibilities, to petition the authorities, to counsel, to practice the worship of their choice, and their to participate in recreational activities. The regulations also concern the juveniles' right to receive periodic visits, to enjoy respect for their integrity and privacy, to access educational services, and to the privacy and regularity in all their communications, especially with counsel. In addition, special rights of detained female juveniles are covered by the regulations, including their right to health services, pregnancy and delivery-related health matters, medical check-up of their children, lactation needs, and residence of their infant children in the facilities. The regulations encourage the participation of parents in all of the activities related to the juveniles.

The regulations state the powers of the National Minors Service (NMS) as the government agency in charge of implementing legal provisions concerning penalties involving imprisonment for juveniles, and the parole regime. The regulations also mandate the implementation of Individual Intervention Plans (IIP) by the NMS in order to provide juveniles with rehabilitation treatment for drug or alcohol addictions, in coordination with the National Council for the Control of Narcotics. The purpose of IIPs is to make juveniles take responsibility for their actions, repair any wrongdoings, and to receive rehabilitation that will allow their re-introduction into society through work training, educational, and other programs.

The regulations establish rules governing life inside detention facilities, set forth penalties for the violation thereof, and deal further with the construction and other operational conditions of centers with a contained confinement regime, and for provisional imprisonment, respectively. Finally, the Regulation creates a special detail within the Chilean Gendarmery for the administration and implementation of the rules concerning facilities for the containment of juveniles, and also mandates the creation of Juvenile Sections within regular imprisonment centers for persons who turn 18 years old when six months or more remain for the completion of their sentences. Decree No. 1378, Dec. 13, 2006, [38.747] D.O. 4, available at