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COURTS AND JUVENILES

The judicial activity of minors is not small scale. Between 2011 and 2013, around 15 thousand juveniles were processed in Mexican specialized courts for minors. Also, around 6 thousand sentences were given each year of which approximately 83 % were guilty verdicts. Still, the conviction rate for juveniles was slightly lower than those for adults, which in 2013 was of 87 % (INEGI) (Table 6.6).

Juvenile justice is not quick either. Most juvenile processes take more than a year. This comes in line with the concerns argued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014. In fact, data suggests that between 2011 and 2013, there was a considerable increase in the length of the legal process. In fact, several states have made changes in their procedural codes to increase the minimum duration of the process for juveniles (Vasconcelos 2011). However, this deduction must be considered with precaution, as in 2011, the duration of the criminal process was not specified in almost half of the cases. More complete time series are needed to be conclusive in this respect. In any event, recent data from 2013 show juvenile justice as slow and in need for further reform (Table 6.7).

Table 6.6. Mexico: Total number of juveniles in court, 2011-2013

2011

2012

2013

Juveniles in court

15,137

15,713

15,292

Sentences given in court

n.a.

6144

6710

Found guilty

n.a.

5141

5650

(83.7 %)

(84.2 %)

Source: Author’s own based on INEGI data. These data do not include appeals to previous sentences

Table 6.7. Mexico: Duration of the criminal process, 2011 and 2013

2011

2013

Sentences given in court

Percent (%)

Sentences given in court

Percent (%)

Less than 3 months

240

8.0

676

14.3

Between 3 and 6 months

238

8.0

193

4.1

Between 6 months and 1 year

1585

53.0

1480

31.4

More than 1 year

930

31.1

2370

50.2

Total

2993

100.0

4719

100.0

Source: Author’s own based on INEGI data. The mismatch between tables is because the duration of some cases was not specified in the data source. For 2011, in almost half of the cases, the duration of the criminal process was not specified

 
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