The article substantiates that it is important to protect children from modern life risks. An integrated approach to improvement of justice mechanisms in relation to children is needed; this approach should ensure children’s rights through implemented crime prevention programs, used effective measures of social adaptation and rehabilitation of children who has troubles with the law.
We have formulated suggestions for the psychological part of the training course “Strengthening a child’s protection system in relation to children who are in troubles with the law”, aimed at development of legal subjects’ communicative competence in professional situations involving children in troubles with the law. The proposed psychological training includes the following educational topics and questions. Topic 1. Age characteristics of a child as a participant of legal relations: 1) the dynamics and patterns of children’s mental development; 2) the determinants of a child’s personality formation; 3) the personal features of a child as a participant in legal relations in different age periods (preschool, primary school, adolescence and early adolescence). Topic 2. Violence and its impact on a child’s personality development: 1) types and forms of violence against children; 2) potential changes in children’s psychological development as a result of violence against them; 3) the main sings of children’s behavior and communication, indicating possible violence against them. Topic 3. The psychological features of interview with a child’s and their interrogation: 1) markers and tools for psychological examination of a child’s actual emotional state during interview and interrogation; 2) psychological aspects of children’s testimony; 3) the crisis forms of children’s deviant behavior and a typical “set of victimization symptoms”; 4) presentation of the Green Room technique. Topic 4. Legal subjects’ communicative competence during professional communication with children in troubles with the law: 1) characteristics of conflict and non-conflict situations during professional communication with children; 2) psychological barriers during legal subjects’ professional communication with children and possible ways to overcome them; 3) means counteracting manipulative influence of children and other participants in legal relations (representatives, parents, etc.) during professional communication.
We have discussed the factors influencing effective interactions with children having witnessed a crime or being a victim. The necessary motivation for communication should be understood and formed by taking into account children’s age-related mental development, their emotional states and abuse consequences. Children’s traumatic experience was noted as a factor that complicated a psychological contact established during professional communications with law enforcement officers. The application the Green Room technique is considered. The necessity of psychologists’ participation in pre-trial investigation and court proceedings against children is substantiated based on the studied current criminal procedural legislation and analyzed investigative and judicial practice.
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