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Youth Justice in Europe: Experience of Germany, the Netherlands, and Croatia in Providing Developmentally Appropriate Responses to Emerging Adults in the Criminal Justice System

Matthews, Sibella; Schiraldi, Vincent N.; Chester, Lael E. H.

There is a growing awareness, in the United States and Europe that emerging adults – those ages 18–25 – are a developmentally distinct group worth special treatment at the hands of the justice system. Four US states have proposed raising the age of their juvenile courts’ jurisdiction beyond age 18 within the last year, while four out of five European countries have special laws affecting emerging adults. Three European nations – Croatia, Germany, and the Netherlands – allow youth over age 18 to be sanctioned in the same manner as younger youth in the juvenile justice system, including the possibility of being housed in juvenile facilities. In March 2018, the Columbia University Justice Lab sponsored an educational delegation of 20 elected and appointed officials, legal system stakeholders, service providers, and advocates to Germany to learn more about the German approach to emerging adults. In advance of that delegation, the authors in this article examined the law and practice regarding court-involved emerging adults in Croatia, Germany, and the Netherlands to glean potential lessons for US policy-makers considering a developmentally distinct approach to emerging adults in their justice systems.

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Also Published In

Title
Justice Evaluation Journal
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/24751979.2018.1478443

More About This Work

Academic Units
Justice Lab
Social Work
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Published Here
October 3, 2018
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