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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78650 Find in a Library
Title: Juveniles and Young Adults in Pretrial Detention
Journal: Monatsschrift fuer Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform  Volume:63  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1980)  Pages:148-153
Author(s): G Schuetze
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The problems encountered by young West German offenders in dealing with the psychological repercussions of their offenses under the conditions in pretrial detention are explored.
Abstract: Information for the study derives from interviews conducted by a psychiatric expert with 37 juveniles and young adults held in pretrial detention. Of the 37 offenders, 24 had committed sexual assaults, 7 murder or attempted murder, and 6 arson; 83 percent belong to the working class. Findings indicate that young offenders really become aware of what they have done during police investigation and interrogation. As a result of this experience, they often feel guilty and desire to make up for their deed. At this point, the young offenders are placed in pretrial detention. Here they lose all possibility of personal contact and discussion with people close to them. In visits with parents, detainees are not allowed to discuss the case, while conversation with defense counsel is chiefly concerned with information about the case. Clerics, social workers, and psychologists who work in detention facilities tend to be overworked and untrained in dealing with psychological crises, and detainees often react negatively to facility personnel. The greatest communication opportunities are with other prisoners, who may regard the offenses committed by young offenders as signs of macho virility rather than unacceptable, antisocial behavior. Contact with such prisoners tends to distort young offenders' process of reaction to their offenses. Psychiatric experts brought in on a case do little to actually render assistance to the youths. Pretrial detention thus serves the needs of criminal prosecution and social protection without concern for negative effects on young offenders. It is emphasized that psychological assistance must be provided to young offenders as soon after incarceration as possible. This is only feasible, however, if the preliminary inquiry can be completed within a few days and arrangements made with the judge for special rehabilitation treatment. A 5-item bibliography is supplied.
Index Term(s): Effects of juvenile imprisonment; Germany; Judicial discretion; Juvenile offender attitudes; Juvenile rehabilitation; Pretrial detention; Pretrial procedures; Preventive detention; Psychiatric services; Young adult offenders
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