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NCJ Number: 68852 Find in a Library
Title: WERNER H (H AS IN HANDICAP?)
Journal: BEWAEHRUNGSHILFE  Volume:26  Issue:4  Dated:(1979)  Pages:342-347
Author(s): D FRIEDEMANN
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE HOPELESS STRUGGLE OF JUVENILES CAUGHT IN THE WEB OF WEST GERMAN JUVENILE COURTS AND BUREAUCRACY, AND THE LIFELONG HANDICAP OF A POLICE RECORD, ARE REVEALED FROM A JUVENILE PROBATION OFFICER'S PERSPECTIVE.
Abstract: THE PROSPECTS OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS WHO HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY ARRESTED AND SENTENCED ARE DESCRIBED AS BEING VERY DIM. THIS ARGUMENT IS ILLUSTRATED BY THE CASE HISTORY OF A YOUNG OFFENDER WHO, BECAUSE OF SOCIAL HANDICAPS, LOW INTELLIGENCE, AND A WEAK CHARACTER, COMMITS HIS FIRST OFFENSE AS A JUVENILE. ARRESTED AND SENTENCED TO PROBATION, HE COMMITS ANOTHER OFFENSE BY THE TIME HE BECOMES OF AGE. RECEIVING ANOTHER SUSPENDED SENTENCE, WHICH IS NEVERTHELESS ENTERED IN HIS POLICE RECORD, HE GETS IN TROUBLE AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME HE STARTS SERVING TIME IN PRISON. BY THE TIME THE PROTAGONIST OF THE EXAMPLE, WERNER H. IS 26 (BY NOW MARRIED AND SEPARATED FROM HIS WIFE), HE HAS ACCUMULATED SUCH A LENGTHY POLICE RECORD THAT, EVEN ASSUMING HE HAD A SINCERE DESIRE TO REFORM, HIS CHANCES OF FINDING EMPLOYMENT AND BEING TRUSTED BY SOMEONE IN A POSITION TO HELP HIM, ARE NON-EXISTENT. PARTLY TO BLAME FOR HIS NEVER-ENDING CYCLE OF FAILURE AND CRIME ARE THE INSTINCTIVE BIASES AGAINST MARGINAL INDIVIDUALS HELD BY SOCIAL WORKERS, JUDGES, AND EVEN PROBATION OFFICERS, MOST OF WHOM POSSESS NO UNDERSTANDING OF A HABITUAL OFFENDER'S PROBLEMS. REQUIRED ARE REFORMS IN POLICE RECORDKEEPING AND WHOLEHEARTED EFFORTS AT UNDERSTANDING THE PLIGHT OF SOCIALLY HANDICAPPED OFFENDERS. JUDGES, ADMINISTRATORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, PROBATION OFFICERS -- ALL OFFICIALS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WHO COME IN CONTACT WITH JUVENILE OFFENDERS--MUST ADDRESS THEMSELVES WITH REAL DETERMINATION TO CHANGING THE SEEMINGLY UNAVOIDABLE FATE OF PEOPLE LIKE WERNER H. --IN GERMAN.
Index Term(s): Germany; Juvenile case records; Public order offenses; Socially challenged
Note: THIS ARTICLE WAS PRESENTED AS A PAPER AT THE WORKSHOP HELD IN KIEL, W GERMANY, NOVEMBER 1978 ON PEOPLE IN SPIRITUAL NEED.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68852

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