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Juvenile Crime and Sanctions in the Netherlands

NCJ Number
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Volume: 19 Issue: 4 Dated: November 2003 Pages: 435-453
Karin Wittebrood
Chris Eskridge
Date Published
November 2003
19 pages
This article describes the trends in juvenile crime, the sentencing of juveniles, and the effectiveness juvenile crime interventions in the Netherlands.
Since the early 1990's, juvenile crime has ranked high on both the political and social agenda of the Netherlands. The number of young people suspected of crime has risen sharply since 1986 and even more since 1994. This prompted a commissioned report on a broad-based approach to juvenile crime. As an outcome of this report, recommendations were presented and a new juvenile penal law was introduced in 1995. This new law brought the legal position of juveniles in line with that of adults and provides for certain alternative punishments and raises the maximum sentences. This article describes the trend of juvenile crime in the Netherlands, reviews various penal interventions and how youth are affected by them, and how juvenile crime is tackled in practice. At the present time, attention for greater informal and formal social control has weakened in the Netherlands and has been replaced with vocal calls for stringent and harsher measures which has been seen through the punishment of young offenders becoming harsher, frequent offenders being placed in pretrial detention earlier, and an increase in the number of residential facilities. References