This article examines the practices and challenges of treatment of juvenile delinquents in the correctional center of Jimma Zone, Oromia State, Ethiopia. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. Primary data was collected from the entire seventy-five (75) juvenile delinquents in custody during the time of data collection, five key informants, and six focus group discussants. And relevant secondary data sources were also utilized. The study applied descriptive statistics and thematic analysis techniques to analyze data. The findings of the study identified theft as a top delinquent behavior for which many juvenile participants (aged 14-17) were charged. The findings also show that the correctional center lacks rehabilitation facilities and services like recreational, educational, psychosocial, dormitories, and other rehabilitation programs. The correctional administration has also a shortage of trained personnel, financial and material resources to facilitate the rehabilitation of delinquents. Children‟s treatment practices are better characterized as punitive and rehabilitative, and abusive than protective. The treatment involves corporal punishment and restriction from getting families and relatives. Poor facilities and excessively inadequate services characterize the treatment center. Reintegration plan and practices are nearly missing. This study suggests that the government and voluntary agencies need to support the development of services and facilities for the treatment of delinquent children. The study also suggests further studies to uncover situations of juveniles in conflict with the law in other correctional and detention facilities in Ethiopia.
Keywords: /Challenges/Correctional Center/Jimma Zone/Juvenile Delinquents/Oromia/Treatment Practices/