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Reprimand, Art. 22 JCC

The reprimand is an autonomous punishment within juvenile criminal law and is set within a formal reprobation of the act. It thus appeals to the juvenile’s feeling of good will and sense of responsibility. The symbolic character of a limit-setting sanction is in this sense clearly expressed. The reprimand presumes a favorable legal prognosis: it must estimate what is adequate “in order to prevent the juvenile from committing further criminal acts.” The application of the reprimand requires that the juvenile is able to respond to such a warning. From the legal formulation it could be deduced that the reprimand is applied independent of the gravity of the offense in all cases in which a favorable prognosis is given. Such an interpretation, however, would be in conflict with the higher principle of guilt. The reprimand thus applies only for minor criminal offenses and as a rule is only considered in the first conviction/offense.

In addition, the reprimand can be tied to a probation period and to instructions directed to the juvenile. If during the probation period the juvenile commits new crimes or the instructions are not obeyed, then the sentencing authorities can impose another sentence for the original offense.

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