Youth justice policies in Germany, except for 3 years under the Nazi regime, have been remarkably stable.
Youth justice policies in Germany, except for 3 years under the Nazi regime, have been remarkably stable. The governing premise has been the desirability of directing responses to crimes by children, youth, and often young adults toward sanctions that foster prosocial development. Young offenders are dealt with by specially designated judges in the crime court. The age of responsibility is 14. A considerably larger percentage of young offenders receive some confinement, but Germany has the lowest youth incarceration rate in Europe. A variety of special sanctions apply to young offenders, and maximum prison sentences are much lower than for adults. Recent regimes have stressed procedural protections, strengthened victims' rights, and introduced mediation and restitution. Overall, though, despite media and public support for more repressive policies, continuing stability is likely. (Published Abstract)
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