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NCJ Number: 206457 Find in a Library
Title: European Trends and Transatlantic Inspiration: Youth Offending and Juvenile Justice (From Punishment, Places and Perpetrators: Developments in Criminology and Criminal Justice Research, P 113-137, 2004, Gerben Bruinsma, Henk Elffers, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-206450)
Author(s): Peter H. van der Laan
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of trends in youth offending and developments in juvenile justice in Europe compares differences among countries and groups of countries, with attention to transatlantic influences on juvenile justice in Europe.
Abstract: In September 2003, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on new ways of dealing with juvenile offending (Recommendation 20). Among the issues addressed in the recommendation are the development of European Prison Rules and European Rules for Community Sanctions and Measures for juveniles, limits on the period of time spent in a police station or in pretrial detention, initiatives intended to change parents' behavior toward their children, and support for initiatives that implement the principles of restorative justice. In an effort to guide the juvenile justice response to minority youth, the recommendations propose the use of "race impact statements," which specify procedures and safeguards that will ensure any new reforms do not inadvertently discriminate against minority youth. Regarding trends in juvenile offending, data from victim surveys and self-report studies are available for only a few, predominantly western European countries. Based on the available data and reports, including police statistics, the absolute levels of juvenile offending and juvenile violent crime in some central and eastern European countries are apparently lower than in western Europe; however, regarding juvenile property crime, central and eastern European countries are catching up. Some of the reasons for the trends in increased juvenile crime are an increase in child poverty and in income inequality, a greater incidence of divorce and family breakdown, widening use of drugs and alcohol among juveniles, a decline in the youth labor market and a consequent rise in unemployment among young adults, an increasing concentration of social and economic problems in inner cities and housing estates, the mass migration of ethnic minority groups into and within Europe, and an increased risk of psychosocial disorders among youth. Recent developments in juvenile justice include new types of community-based corrections as an alternative to incarceration. There is increasing support for mediation and reconciliation between victims and offenders. Custodial sentences, however, still remain the "backbone" of juvenile justice systems in many, if not all, European countries. Differences in the juvenile justice systems of European countries still exist, but they are converging in similarity. A North American influence on European countries as been noticeable for more than a century. This applies equally to youth offending and juvenile justice. This has occurred even though many American juvenile justice policies have yet to prove their effectiveness through evaluative research. This may be due to the fact that European countries are desperate for new ways to deal with juvenile offenders and assume that the North American countries continue to be enlightened pioneers in juvenile justice. 11 notes and 81 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community-based corrections (juvenile); Europe; Juvenile crime patterns; Trend analysis
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