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Are juvenile criminal justice statistics comparable across countries? A study of the data available in 45 European nations

  • Claudia Campistol
  • Marcelo F. Aebi
Article

Abstract

This article analyses the data on minors included in the police, prosecution, conviction, prison and probation statistics of 45 European nations in 2010, which were collected in the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics. The main conclusions of the analysis are that comprehensive juvenile justice statistics are seldom available and that the existing data are hardly comparable across countries. The article identifies the main reasons that hamper the comparability: The definition of minors is not harmonized, the rules applied for the construction of the statistics are not the same, and there are differences in the legal procedures foreseen for minors as well as on the type of sanctions that can be imposed to them. As a consequence, European juvenile justice statistics do not provide valid comparable information on the extent of juvenile delinquency, and their reliability as indicators of the social reaction to it is doubtful.

Keywords

Criminal statistics Minors Juvenile delinquency Comparative criminology Europe 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal SciencesUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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