Criminal Justice - Juvenile perpetrators of criminal offences

 

NOTES ON METHODOLOGY

 

Source and methods of data collection

 

On the basis of the Official Statistics Act (NN, Nos 103/03, 75/09, 59/12 and 12/13 – consolidated text), data on criminal offences of reported, accused and convicted juvenile persons are collected by regular statistical surveys which use the following statistical reports: the Statistical Report for a Juvenile against Whom Criminal Proceedings Based on Crime Report and the Interlocutory Proceedings Have Been Concluded (SK-3 form) and the Statistical Report for a Juvenile against Whom a Criminal Proceedings Have Been Validly Concluded through a Senate (SK-4 form).

 

Statistical reports are filled in by competent public prosecutor’s offices after the final decision has taken place as well as county and municipal courts of first instance that act after the criminal procedure has been validly concluded.

 

If a perpetrator commits several criminal offences (merger), the major criminal offence is considered the main criminal offence. If several persons participate in a commitment of a single offence, each participant (perpetrator) is considered a unit of observation.

 

On 1 January 2013, the new Penal Code (NN, Nos 125/11, 144/12, 56/15, 61/15 – correction and 101/17) entered into force. This code, besides implementing new and modified existing general institutes of material criminal law, prescribes a new catalogue of criminal offences.

 

Coverage

 

Statistical surveys cover all juvenile perpetrators of criminal offences, whether reported, accused or convicted, in order to examine the volume and spread of crime for the whole territory of the Republic of Croatia.

 

Definitions

 

Crime in terms of statistical surveys ranges from reporting a criminal offence to the valid conclusion of the legal proceedings by a public prosecutors’ office, that is, to pronouncing a valid decision of a juvenile court.

 

Unlike the Penal Code that was in force until 1 January 2013, the new Penal Code (NN, Nos 125/11, 144/12, 56/15 and 61/15 –  correction) no longer uses the term "juvenile" or "juvenile person", but defines a term “child” as a person younger than 18 years of age (Article 87, Paragraph 7). At the same time, Article 7 of the new Penal Code excludes the application of the criminal legislation to a child who, at the time of committing the criminal offence, did not reach the age of 14. As these changes are basically terminological and not substantial ones, as well as to ensure the correct interpretation of published statistical data, the current terminology has been kept. The Juvenile Courts Act (NN, Nos 84/11, 143/12, 148/13 and 56/15) kept the term "juvenile" in its unchanged meaning.

 

Juvenile perpetrator of criminal offences are persons who turned 14 but not yet 18 at the time of committing the criminal offence, against whom legal proceedings have not been initiated (crime report dropped), interlocutory proceedings have been terminated or a proposal for a criminal penalty or other measure has been filed. Legal proceedings have been validly concluded by issuing the decision on termination of proceedings or pronouncing of criminal penalty or other measure.

 

Younger juvenile is a person who turned 14 but not yet 16 at the time of committing a criminal offence and who may not be sentenced to juvenile imprisonment but may only be given educational measures.

 

Older juvenile is a person who turned 16 but not yet 18 at the time of committing a criminal offence and who may be given educational measures, but may also be sentenced to juvenile imprisonment, if the Code foresees any conditions for that.

 

Reported person is a juvenile perpetrator of a criminal offence against whom the legal proceedings based on the crime report and interlocutory proceedings have been concluded.

 

Accused person is a juvenile person against whom the legal proceedings through a senate have been concluded by a valid court decision by which the legal proceedings have terminated through a senate or a criminal penalty or other measure has been pronounced (juvenile imprisonment or educational measures).

 

Convicted person is a juvenile perpetrator of the criminal offence against whom a criminal penalty and other measure have been pronounced: juvenile imprisonment, suspension of juvenile imprisonment or educational measures. Educational measures may include a reprimand, special obligations, assignment to a centre for disciplinary development, increased care and supervision, increased care and supervision with daily stay in a correctional institution, assignment to a correctional institution, assignment to a the rehabilitation centre and assignment to a special correctional institution).

 

Educational measures are measures of warning, increased supervision and correctional institution measures.

 

Measures of warning are reprimands and special obligations, pronounced when juvenile person's personality or behaviour should be influenced upon.

 

Increased supervision measures are increased care and supervision, assignment to a centre for disciplinary development and increased care and supervision with daily stay in a correctional institution, pronounced when long-term measures are needed for the upbringing and education of a juvenile person with adequate surveillance and assistance, without juvenile's separation from their environment.

 

Correctional institution measure refers to the assignment to a correctional institution, the assignment to a rehabilitation centre and assignment to a special correctional institution, prescribed when long-term and intensive educational measures or measures of treatment are needed, with juvenile’s separation from their environment.

 

Juvenile imprisonment is the penalty of depriving freedom with particularities related to the pronouncing, duration, aim and content of penalty.

 

Juvenile imprisonment may be pronounced only for criminal offences for which the law prescribes 3 years penalty of imprisonment or a more severe penalty and may not be shorter than 6 months nor longer than 5 years, only exceptionally it may be up to 10 years for criminal offences for which long-term imprisonment penalty has been prescribed, or in case of a merger of at least two criminal offences with prescribed imprisonment above ten years.

 

Suspended juvenile imprisonment – juvenile may be found guilty for criminal offence by a court and at the same time a juvenile imprisonment penalty may be suspended if the court thinks that, by the pronouncement of guilt and by threatening with the subsequent pronouncement of a sentence, the perpetrator can be diverted from the commitment of further criminal offences. In this case, the court may pronounce educational measure of increased supervision and one or more special obligations.