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NCJ Number: 50261 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: YOUNG OFFENDERS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN FINLAND
Author(s): M JOUTSEN
Corporate Author: Research Institute of Legal Policy
Finland
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 63
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Research Institute of Legal Policy
00530 Helsinki 53, Finland
Publication Number: RESEARCH REPORT NO 14
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: Finland
Annotation: THIS PUBLICATION PROVIDES GENERAL BACKGROUND ON FINNISH LEGISLATION CONCERNING YOUNG OFFENDERS AND PLANS FOR REFORM. IT ALSO PROVIDES STATISTICS ON YOUNG OFFENDERS PROVIDED BY POLICE AND THE COURTS.
Abstract: ACCORDING TO FINNISH LAW, YOUTHS 15 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER APPEAR BEFORE ORDINARY ADULT COURTS, AS THERE ARE NO JUVENILE COURTS. THE SYSTEM, HOWEVER, INCLUDES SOME SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR YOUNG OFFENDERS: (1) IN LARGER CITIES, WHERE THE MAGISTRATE'S COURT HAS SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS, YOUTHS GENERALLY APPEAR BEFORE THE SAME DEPARTMENT AND (2) TRIALS ALWAYS TAKE PLACE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WHEN THE YOUTH IS UNDER 18 AND OFTEN TAKE PLACE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WHEN THE YOUTH IS BETWEEN 18 AND 20. IN THE CHILDREN'S ACT OF 1936, A 'CHILD' REFERS TO A PERSON 16 OR 17 YEARS OF AGE, WHEREAS THE LAW ON YOUNG OFFENDERS COVERS YOUTHS 15 YEARS AND OLDER. THIS INCONSISTENCY IN LEGISLATION CONTRIBUTES TO THE NEED FOR LEGISLATIVE REFORM IN AREAS OF PRESENTENCE PERSONAL HISTORY INVESTIGATION, CASES NOT TO BE PROSECUTED, CASES TO BE DISMISSED, CONDITIONAL SENTENCING, AND JUVENILE IMPRISONMENT. THE STATISTICS ON YOUNG OFFENDERS CONCENTRATE ON TWO AGE CATEGORIES: 15 THROUGH 17 YEARS AND 18 THROUGH 20 YEARS. INDIVIDUALS UNDER 15 ARE NOT HELD CRIMINALLY ACCOUNTABLE AND THOSE 21 OR OLDER ARE REGARDED AS ADULTS. COMPARISON OF STATISTICS PROVIDED BY POLICE AND STATISTICS PROVIDED BY COURTS REVEALS A LARGE GAP BETWEEN THE NUMBER OF OFFENSES REPORTED TO POLICE AND THE NUMBER DEALT WITH BY THE COURTS. THIS GAP IS PARTICULARLY LARGE IN THE CASE OF PROPERTY OFFENSES SINCE POLICE OFTEN DO NOT REPORT CASES OF PETTY THEFT TO THE PROSECUTOR. IN CONNECTION WITH OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON, THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO SETS OF STATISTICS ARE NOT LARGE. MAJOR OFFENSES COMMITTED BY YOUTHS ARE THEFT, DRUNKEN DRIVING, AND ASSAULT. FROM AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE, THE NUMBER OF OFFENSES PERPETRATED BY YOUTHS IN FINLAND IS LOW. GRAPHS AND TABLES ILLUSTRATE FINDINGS FOR VARIOUS OFFENSES. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Criminal responsibility; Finland; Juvenile courts; Juvenile offender statistics; Legislation; Scandinavia
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50261

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