This essay examines the Nordic system of criminal justice for youth.
Nordic systems for dealing with young offenders constitute a "Nordic model of youth justice" and at the same time differ among themselves in important respects. Similarities include a common statutory presumption against confinement, a high age of criminal responsibility (15 except in Denmark), active collaboration between the justice and child welfare systems, and the absence of specialized juvenile courts. Differences include much higher levels of penal confinement in Denmark and Norway than in Finland and Sweden, and greater differentiation between justice system and child welfare approaches in Finland and Norway than in Denmark and Sweden. Even when institutional placements in both welfare and justice facilities are taken into account in comparative analyses, however, the Nordic countries rely much less heavily on confinement of young offenders than England and Wales. (Published Abstract)
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