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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164973 Find in a Library
Title: Germany (From International Handbook on Juvenile Justice, P 125-145, 1996, Donald J Shoemaker, ed. -- See NCJ-164965)
Author(s): N T Wolfe
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of Germany's juvenile justice system presents a brief history of the juvenile justice system and describes the formal system, reviews patterns of juvenile delinquency, juvenile courts, juvenile justice personnel, stages of the juvenile justice process, sentencing, and diversion.
Abstract: Juvenile and adult defendants in Germany are held responsible for the same substantive criminal law, but procedural rules differ significantly. Juvenile cases are heard by special tribunals of the criminal court; however, emphasis is on the character and developmental level of the offender rather than on the offense. Police and prosecutors are permitted a wider range of discretion with juveniles and, where plausible, community- based sanctions are used instead of incarceration. In discussions of reform, both conservative tendencies toward restricting the leniency shown juveniles and liberal objectives that emphasize preventive measures are evident. Currently, the alteration of age categories is being discussed. On one hand, there are proposals to reduce the upper age limit for adolescents below 21 years old. Others propose to extend the age limit for adolescents upward to 24 years old. A third suggestion is to create an additional category between adolescent and adult. Efforts have also been made to increase the minimum age for incarceration. Some have proposed using an approach tried in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany), i.e., the social courts, which are tribunals in which laypersons use mediation to assign sanctions intended to resolve conflicts. In contrast to proposed treatment programs, however, are persistent efforts to modify the legal response to delinquency, including proposals for more rapid processing and more severe sanctions. Elections in 1994 suggest that Germany will continue along the spectrum toward a law-and- order model rather than toward a treatment model for juveniles. 61 references
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems
Index Term(s): Germany; Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Juvenile processing
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