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NCJ Number: 49894 Find in a Library
Title: JUVENILE DELINQUENT IN JAPAN
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:13  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1973)  Pages:170-177
Author(s): M YANAGIMOTO
Corporate Author: Stevens and Sons
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency
London, EC4 P4EE, England
Stevens and Sons
London, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE JAPANESE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS DESCRIBED, ITS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ARE DISCUSSED, AND SUGGESTED REFORMS ARE EXPLAINED.
Abstract: IN JAPAN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS ADMINISTERED AT THE PREFECTURAL AND MUNICIPAL LEVELS. (JAPAN IS DIVIDED INTO 46 PREFECTURES.) THE FIRST CONTACT WITH THE SYSTEM FOR THE MAJORITY OF DELINQUENT BOYS IS THE POLICE. EVERY ONE OF THE 1,203 POLICE STATIONS IN THE COUNTRY HAS A 'PREVENTION AND JUVENILE UNIT.' THESE OFFICERS PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS, ORGANIZE STREET PATROLS, AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR JUVENILE CRIME INVESTIGATION AND ARREST. PREDELINQUENT BEHAVIOR IS HANDLED EITHER BY WARNING, BY NOTIFYING PARENTS OR GUARDIANS, OR BY REFERRAL TO A CHILD GUIDANCE CENTER. IN 1965 THERE WERE 132 SUCH CENTERS IN OPERATION, PROVIDING SHELTER FOR NEGLECTED AND ABUSED CHILDREN AND AIDING IN PRECOURT EVALUATIONS FOR JUVENILE DELINQUENTS. MORE SERIOUS CASES ARE REFERRED TO CLASSIFICATION HOMES, WHICH ARE PRETRIAL DETENTION CENTERS FOR THE FAMILY COURT. AVERAGE STAY IS 20 DAYS BEFORE THE COURT HEARING. THE FAMILY COURT HEARING IS AN INFORMAL PROCEDURE. THOSE OVER AGE 16 CHARGED WITH SERIOUS FELONIES ARE TRIED AS ADULTS IN CRIMINAL COURT WHILE YOUNGER OFFENDERS AND THOSE WITH LESS SERIOUS CHARGES ARE HANDLED IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH THE PARENS PATRIAE DOCTRINE. THE JUVENILE COURT MAY RELEASE THE CHILD ON PROBATION, RELEASE THE CHILD UNCONDITIONALLY, SEND THE CASE TO THE PREFECTURAL GOVERNOR OR TO THE CHIEF OF THE LOCAL GUIDANCE CENTER, OR SEND THE CASE TO THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR FOR CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS. MOST REFORM PROPOSALS CENTER ON THE FAMILY COURT. A WIDER RANGE OF PRETRIAL OPTIONS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR BOTH POLICE AND PROSECUTORS. THE LARGE NUMBER OF CASES DISMISSED FROM THE COURT INDICATES THAT MANY OF THESE YOUTHS COULD BE HANDLED SUCCESSFULLY AT THE PRETRIAL LEVEL. IT IS ALSO SUGGESTED THAT SINCE A LOSS OF LIBERTY MAY RESULT, PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION SHOULD BE GIVEN THE CHILD IN COURT PROCEEDINGS. ANOTHER REFORM CONCERNS YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 16-20. SINCE THIS GROUP COMMITS THE MOST SERIOUS OFFENSES, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THEY SHOULD BE TREATED AS ADULTS. ANOTHER SUGGESTION IS THAT SERIOUS OFFENDERS BE TRIED AS ADULTS BUT THAT THE PROTECTION OF THE JUVENILE SYSTEM BE EXTENDED TO MINOR OFFENDERS UNTIL AGE 20. THE VARIOUS CORRECTION INSTITUTIONS ARE DESCRIBED. THE MAIN CHARACTERISTIC OF THE JAPANESE SYSTEM IS UNIFORMITY OF TREATMENT REGARDLESS OF GEOGRAPHICAL REGION AND A UNIFIED APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM OF THE JUVENILE OFFENDER. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SYSTEMS IN ENGLAND AND JAPAN ARE POINTED OUT. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Japan; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile detention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49894

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