Comparative Youth Justice is the first book to critically reflect on contemporary juvenile justice reform in England and Wales and across various other western jurisdictions including the US, Canada, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Scotland, Japan, Italy and Finland. In doing so, it identifies major international differences in juvenile policy and practice. However, Contemporary Youth Justice is not simply an attempt to document national similarities and differences, but looks critically at how global trends are translated at the local level. This book also examines how youth justice is implemented in practice with a view to promoting change as well as reflection.

Finland: A Model of Tolerance?

Finland: A model of tolerance?
TapioLappi-Seppälä

Introduction

The age of criminal responsibility in Finland is 15 years. Originally the 1889 criminal code gave the courts the right to impose disciplinary penalties and to place 7–15 year olds in reformatory schools. However, the general child welfare reforms of the 1930s and 1940s removed children under the age of 15 from criminal court jurisdiction and placed them under child welfare authorities. Young offenders aged 15 to 17 are dealt with under both the child welfare system and the system of criminal justice, while young adults between 18 to 20 will be dealt only by the criminal justice authorities.

The functioning of these two systems – child welfare and criminal justice – is based on fundamentally differing ...

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