Request for an opinion on sentencing juvenile offenders

Request for an opinion on sentencing juvenile offenders

Minister Weerwind (Legal Protection), is going to ask the court to assess the outstanding sentences of a group of juvenile offenders who have not yet served their sentences due to an accumulation of factors. This information emerged from a letter he submitted to the House of Representatives.

Currently, 36 more juvenile offenders have been waiting for over 3 to 5 years for enforcement of their prison sentence. In the vast majority of cases, the outstanding duration of the sentence is less than one month. The most frequent convictions are for property crimes such as theft and handling stolen goods.

Minister Weerwind: “These young people also need to get on with their lives. Some of them have had this punishment hanging over their heads like a sword of Damocles for almost 5 years; they deserve to know if the sentence will indeed be enforced. I would like to hear from the court whether enforcing these sentences now still serves any punitive purpose, thereby providing clarity to these 36 young persons. Clarity can of course also mean: you still have to serve your sentence.”

The minister wants to know from the court whether a belated enforcement of the sentence is appropriate. All cases are therefore re-submitted to the court; 6 cases for conversion of the sentence and 30 cases for an opinion on the desirability of belated enforcement, reduction, modification or remission of the original sentence.

The court’s assessment includes looking at the offender’s current circumstances compared to those known at the time of conviction. Where necessary, advice will be sought from the Child Care and Protection Board or the Probation Service in this connection. The court may also consider the interests of the victim. As usual, the court’s opinion will guide the minister in his final decision.

Originally published at

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