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Other Sentences for Young People

In regard to the criminal justice sanctions imposed on youths aged 18-20, the official crime statistics (Bra 2015) show that these sanctions are both greater in number (approximately 11,000 in 2014) and significantly more severe (see Fig. 21.5). In 2014, 458 of these sanctions involved a prison sentence and only 12 were sentenced to youth custody. Almost 900 individuals were sentenced to probation (a very uncommon sanction among 15-17-year-olds).

At the same time, the sanctions imposed on these older youths are also dominated by day-fines in the form of either summary sanction orders (approximately 3900) or court sentences (approximately 2800). Waivers of prosecution are also relatively common (approximately 1500), although considerably less so compared to the 15-17-year-olds. For the younger age group, there are special provisions in the Young Offenders Act (LUL, Lag 1964:167) that allow the prosecutor to issue a waiver of prosecution (i.e. a caution) if there is an expectation that other measures will be put in place, primarily on the initiative of the social services. This same possibility also exists in relation to older youths, but it is very seldom used.

Another common sanction imposed on the 18-20-year-olds was a suspended sentence (approximately 1300 convictions), of which just under one-third were combined with community service.

Distribution of sanctions following a conviction in 2013 for youths aged 15-17 (N = 9,124) and 18-20 (N = 12,062), and for adults (N = 89,509) (Bra 2015)

Figure 21.5. Distribution of sanctions following a conviction in 2013 for youths aged 15-17 (N = 9,124) and 18-20 (N = 12,062), and for adults (N = 89,509) (Bra 2015).

 
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