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Position of the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union) in the Karlsruhe Declaration on Legal Policy (From Praeventive Kriminalpolitik, P 27-32, 1980 Hans-Dieter Schwind et al, ed. - See NCJ-81246)

NCJ Number
F Vogel
Date Published
6 pages
The position of the Christian Democratic Union of the Federal Republic of Germany on preventive criminal policy is summarized from its formulation on February 21, 1980 in the Karlsruhe Declaration on Legal Policy.
The policy is based on the principle that strict laws and penalties alone are not adequate to control rising crime rates. Prevention and resocialization efforts should be grounded in a realistic assessment of human nature that seeks to make the best of the individual's positive characteristics while avoiding overoptimistic generalizations about treatment possibilities that mislead the public. Rehabilitation to a law-abiding life is a feasible goal of juveniles and other ex-offenders whose criminal tendencies decrease as they mature and begin to decline physically in middle age. Offender rehabilitation programs should include expanded postrelease assistance, particularly for juveniles and first-time offenders. Preventive measures proposed are stabilization of the family, improved playgrounds and residential arrangements, juvenile employment, instruction in values and the law, and alcohol and drug abuse-prevention programs. Excerpts from the declaration are appended. The text proclaims adherence to the established penal principles of punishment for criminal wrongdoing, including life-long imprisonment for homicide and hard-line penalties for acts of terrorism and for drug abuse. General preventive measures and victim assistance are deemed a necessary adjunct to the basic penal policy.