Barn och brott : - En studie om socialtjänstens yttranden i straffprocessen för unga lagöverträdare

Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to scrutinise the statements from the social authorities to the criminal courts in the juvenile justice process, and to analyse in what extent these statements influenced the criminal courts in their penalty sentencing for boys aged 15-17 years, suspected and convicted for assault and battery and grand assault and battery, in Stockholm County the years of 1998 and 2000.In 1998 a child’s perspective and the concept of the best interest of the child was introduced in the Social services act. A legal reform in 1999 in the criminal code introduced the concept of just desert for juvenile offenders, to make the juvenile justice system more predictable and fair and to make the statements more clarifying to the courts. Laws, preparatory documents and legal doctrine are studied. Theoretically, discourse analysis and neoinstitutional organisational theories are points of departure. The empirical material consists of criminal statistics, 103 statement from the welfare agencies and 103 criminal court records. The social authorities statements are scrutinised to discern specific patterns of intervention and then analysed together with criminal court records. The result indicates that the juvenile justice system seems to be unpredictable and unfair due to several factors linked to each other. There is a striking uncertainty in the statements because of great variations. The concept of the best interest of the child is hardly expressed as an interest in the statements. Social interventions are proposed both on the behalf of the child’s needs and to punish the child in a criminal justice mode. The statements seem to influence the courts sentencing in a great extent but there are difficulties to discern the grounds for differences in criminal sentencing. The juvenile justice system and the social services laws seem to be incompatible by contradictions in terms.