Tougher penal code for youth crime in Holland

26th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Youths who commit serious crimes will be given longer jail terms under a new adolescent penal code that Dutch Deputy Security and Justice Minister Fred Teeven intends to introduce.

It proposes to raise youth detention terms from two years to four years, the conservative minister VVD writes in a letter to parliament. The adolescent penal code will apply to youths aged between 15 and 23.

Under the new code, youths found guilty of serious sexual or violent crimes will no longer be eligible to serve their sentences only in the form of community service.

The new law also gives judges the option of extending youth psychiatric detention as normal psychiatric detention if a convict is likely to remain dangerous after the former ends. The adolescent penal code aims to curb crime among problem youths, the minister writes. 

Some youth organisations and other bodies have given the announcement a cautious welcome. Critics say prolonging prison terms without providing adequate care and training will only hamper the chances of juvenile delinquents of functioning well in society upon their release.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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