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NCJ Number: 73542 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Delinquency in Sweden - Discussion Paper Topic 2
Author(s): J Sarnecki
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: The nature of juvenile criminality in Sweden is described, and societal means for dealing with crimes committed by young people under the age of 15 and between ages 15-20 are discussed.
Abstract: The article notes that there has been an increase in total registered criminality in Sweden since World War II, and that criminal activity has shifted to increasingly younger age groups. Juvenile criminality consists predominantly of vehicular theft or theft resulting from breaking and entering, and is often linked with alcohol consumption. Under present Swedish law, the social welfare authorities are primarily responsible for dealing with young offenders. The article describes restrictions on police interrogation of persons under 15, the composition and responsibilities of the central board for social welfare services, and the scope and limitations of the board's actions. Both voluntary measures, such as family financial support, and compulsory measures, such as foster home placement, that the board may take, are described. In addition, legislative and judicial practices affecting persons between ages 15 and 20 who can, in principle, be prosecuted and sentenced for their actions, are outlined. Although Swedish legislation and practice in juvenile criminality is described as among the most liberal and treatment-oriented in the world, youth crime rates in the postwar period have increased sharply and recidivism rates appear to be on a very high level. In addition, researchers have criticized the noninterventionist and treatment-oriented attitude of some authorities. An approach is now favored that would ensure that the investigation of juvenile delinquency is met by an adequate reaction, not necessarily punitive, to help provide guidance for the young people in the future.
Index Term(s): Custody vs treatment conflict; European Juvenile Justice Codes; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile processing; Labeling theory; Sweden
Note: Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.
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