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Juvenile Delinquency in Latvia

Juvenile Delinquency in Latvia. Dr. Andrejs Judins, senior researcher of the Centre for Public Policy Providus. 22.10. 2010. Criminal Law: Juveniles. Age of criminal liability – 14 Neither particular Juvenile Justice Law, nor Juvenile courts exist in Latvia

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Juvenile Delinquency in Latvia

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  1. Juvenile DelinquencyinLatvia Dr. Andrejs Judins, senior researcher of the Centre for Public Policy Providus 22.10. 2010.

  2. Criminal Law: Juveniles • Age of criminal liability – 14 • Neither particular Juvenile Justice Law, nor Juvenile courts exist in Latvia • Criminal Law (1998); Criminal Procedure Law (2005), provided favourable features (peculiarities) for juveniles • Law on the Application of Compulsory Educational Measures to Children (2002) A.Judins, SPC Providus ©

  3. The official information on juvenile delinquency in Latvia is quite limited and evidently it reflects only part of processes related to the antisocial behaviour of children. It has objective reasons related to the following: • the latent character of crime, including juvenile delinquency (a); • the failure of victims to report offences that have been committed that is related to distrust in public institutions and their abilities to resolve a criminal offence and to promote the restoration of justice (b); • the objective impossibility of resolving several offences and of identifying offenders (c); • failure to report offences of juveniles that is related to the awareness that on the whole instruments of criminal justice do not correspond to needs of children and it would be better to protect the child against the reaction of the state to the offence that to turn the child over to criminal justice (d); • failure to report offences committed by children, considering them to be insignificant (e). A.Judins, SPC Providus ©

  4. Formal approach: Juvenile delinquency as a component of crime is a category of criminology used to the bodyof criminal offences committed by children at the age of 14 to 17, its trends at a specific time andin a specific territory. ? What about children under 14

  5. In 2008 -57 475 criminal offences were registered in Latvia, while the number of criminal offences committed by juveniles amounted to 1 397. In 2009 - 56 748 criminal offences were registered; 1038 criminal offences were committed by juveniles. In 2008 19 216persons were identified as offenders, i.e. 1 812 juveniles (9,4 %) In 2009: 18649 persons were identified as offenders, i.e. 1383 juveniles (7,4%) A.Judins, SPC Providus ©

  6. Number of juveniles and young persons(under the age of 20) in Latvia during 1990 - 2009

  7. Number of juveniles (14-17 y.o.) in Latvia during 2005 - 2010

  8. Number of juveniles who have committed criminal offencesin 2005-2009

  9. Structure of crimes committed by juveniles in 2005 -2009 A.Judins, SPC Providus ©

  10. Convicted juveniles who committed criminal offences in a group in 2005-2009

  11. Convicted juveniles in 2009

  12. 500 438 450 409 383 400 373 350 320 304 300 272 275 241 243 239 number 250 199 191 189 200 149 162 162 142 150 166 127 158 105 109 142 140 96 134 134 100 99 94 80 64 50 53 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 year total detention sentenced Juveniles in Prison A.Judins, SPC Providus © Source: Latvian prison administration

  13. Legislative reform:Promising practice • Strengthen the System of Educational Compulsory measures (2010); • Criminal Law amendments (2009) (regarding to the deprivation of liberty), Criminal Procedure law (2005)

  14. Article 65 of the Criminal Law Application of Punishment for Minors (1) The following forms of basic punishment shall apply for minors: 1) deprivation of liberty; 2) custodial arrest; 3) community service; or 4) fine, as well as the additional punishments provided for in this Law. (2) For a person who has committed a criminal offence before reaching 18 years of age, the period of deprivation of liberty may not exceed: 10 years - for especially serious crimes; 5 years - for serious crimes, which are associated with violence or the threat of violence, or have given rise to serious consequences; 2 years – for other serious crimes. For criminal violations and for less serious and serious crimes the penalty of deprivation of liberty shall not be applied for such person.

  15. Deprivation of liberty as a punishment for juvenile offenders

  16. Compulsory Educational Measures • a warning; • the obligation to apologize to victims if the latter agree to meet the perpetrator; • to transfer the child to the warranty of parents or guardians or other persons, institutions or organisations; • to impose the obligation to eliminate consequences of the damage incurred by his herwork; • as concerns a child who has reached the age of 15 and who has his/her income – to impose the obligation to compensate for the incurred damage; • to impose the obligation to perform community service; • to place the child in an educational institution of social correction Children from 11 to 13 years of age Children from 14 to 17 years of age

  17. Promising practice Unpaid work (Community Service): as a Criminal Punishment and as a Compulsory Educational Measure

  18. Promising practice Conciliation as an instrument for Justice Restoration (VOM, Conferencing (2009) State Probation Service (2004) Programs of social behaviour and rehabilitation

  19. Thank you! andrejs@providus.lv

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