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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78612 Find in a Library
Title: Critique of the Juvenile Corrections Reform - Arguments Against the ASJ (Association of Sociodemographic Jurists) - Theses
Journal: Kriminologisches Journal  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(1980)  Pages:81-97
Author(s): K Papendorf; K F Schumann; M Voss
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The feasibility of the model proposed by the Workgroup of Social Democratic Jurists for reform of the juvenile corrections system in West Germany is assessed.
Abstract: The model proposes that juveniles be treated in a therapeutic environment within corrections institutions. Because an institution cannot provide all the diverse functions of security, order, forced control, and treatment; however, the model fails to resolve the custody-treatment conflict. Gearing the length of the prison term to the requirements of obligatory treatment, as the model recommends is interpreted by prisoners as a system of extended punishment and runs counter to current international trends in juvenile corrections. In addition, the institution of treatment in corrections facilities usually lengthens the term of juveniles in prison, so that juveniles are actually incarcerated longer than adults. In the end, the in-prison treatment system serves as only another subtle means of social control. The juvenile assistance measures recommended in the model (e.g., social education courses, and education in foster homes or residential groups) are replacements for detention, extending social control without seriously intending to assist juveniles. Treatment as an excuse for legal intervention in the form of various types of training courses runs the risk of causing multiple punishment for the same crime and reduced legal security. As an alternative, a juvenile policy is proposed, based on the situation of the clients and on elimination of the deficiencies in the juveniles' environment, such as lack of educational opportunities, subsistence, and routes to finding their identities. Juveniles should be given the means to become self-sufficient without intervention of repressive social control agencies. Taking criminal law out of the lives of juveniles must begin with elimination of incarceration in all types of corrections institutions for youths under age 18. Violations of the law are to be dealt with through civil channels, curfews, or imposition of special conditions. Notes and a 28-item bibliography are provided.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community-based corrections (juvenile); Correctional institutions (juvenile); Correctional reform; Decriminalization; Evaluation; Germany; Juvenile courts; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention
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