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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 68516 Find in a Library
Title: PROTECTION OF YOUTH - TOWARD A CRITICAL STATE OF THE QUESTION
Journal: REVUE DE DROIT PENAL ET DE CRIMINOLOGIE  Volume:59  Issue:4  Dated:(APRIL 1979)  Pages:326-349
Author(s): B DECRAYENCOUR
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 24
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Belgium
Annotation: PUBLIC CRITICISM OF THE BELGIAN JUVENILE PROTECTION ACT (1965) IS PRESENTED WITH REGARD TO JUVENILE COURTS, JUVENILE PROTECTION COMMITTEES, SOCIAL SERVICES, COURT MEASURES, AND LEGAL THEORY.
Abstract: CRITICIMS OF BELGIAN JUVENILE COURTS INCLUDE (1) THE INSUFFICIENT NUMBER OF JUDGES (49 JUDGES HANDLING OVER 10,000 CASES ANNUALLY); (2) THE STRICTLY LEGAL TRAINING OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY; AND (3) THE BELGIAN JUVENILE COURT PROCEDURES, WHICH (LIKE THOSE IN THE UNITED STATES), DENY JUVENILES' FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. THE JUVENILE PROTECTION COMMITTEES, NEWLY ESTABLISHED IN BELGIUM AS A FORM OF COURT DIVERSION, HAVE PROVED A FAILURE; STATISTICS SHOW THAT THE NUMBER OF DELINQUENTS ASSIGNED TO PROTECTION AGENCIES IS FALLING STEADILY WHILE THE COURT CASE FLOW DOES NOT DECREASE. PROBLEMS IN THE SOCIAL SERVICES AREA ARE THAT SOCIAL WORKERS ARE SUPERVISED BY COURT OFFICIALS WITH MERELY LEGAL TRAINING, AND THAT SOCIAL SERVICES WORK IS BASED ON OUTLINED CONCEPTS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY. MOREOVER, THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY EVALUATED AND THE CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE EDUCATIONAL AND REPRESSIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE AGENTS ARE STILL NOT RESOLVED. THE COURTS ACTUALLY USE VERY FEW OF THE LEGAL MEASURES AVAILABLE, AND JUVENILES' COMMITMENT TO HOMES REMAINS THE MOST FREQUENT SOLUTION, DESPITE THE KNOWN POTENTIAL DAMAGES OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION. THE THREE NEW CONCEPTS INTRODUCED BY THE LAW, 'ENDANGERED JUVENILES', 'MEASURES' (INSTEAD OF PUNISHMENT), AND 'PROTECTION', ARE IMPRECISE AND NEED CLOSER DEFINITION. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS STATISTICAL CHARTS AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL FOOTNOTES. --IN FRENCH. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Belgium; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile court intake; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Juvenile procedures training; Juvenile processing; Rights of minors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68516

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