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Ung, dum och särbehandlad - En straffteoretisk granskning av särbehandlingen av unga lagöverträdare i påföljdssystemet

Palmqvist, Thea LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Unga lagöverträdare har sedan lång tid tillbaka innehaft en särställning i det svenska påföljdssystemet. Den som begår brott innan tjugoett års ålder behandlas idag annorlunda än den vuxne lagöverträdaren. Bland annat får den unge lagöverträdaren sitt straff reducerat genom den så kallade ungdomsrabatten, åtnjuter särskilt skydd mot frihetsberövande påföljder och kan dömas till särskilda påföljder avsedda endast för ungdomar. Särbehandlingen grundar sig på antaganden om att unga har en outvecklad ansvarsförmåga, att de är särskilt sanktionskänsliga och att det dessutom ingår i deras utveckling att testa gränser. Vidare ställer barnkonventionen, vilken Sverige är folkrättsligt bunden av, särskilda krav på hur unga ska hanteras i... (More)
Unga lagöverträdare har sedan lång tid tillbaka innehaft en särställning i det svenska påföljdssystemet. Den som begår brott innan tjugoett års ålder behandlas idag annorlunda än den vuxne lagöverträdaren. Bland annat får den unge lagöverträdaren sitt straff reducerat genom den så kallade ungdomsrabatten, åtnjuter särskilt skydd mot frihetsberövande påföljder och kan dömas till särskilda påföljder avsedda endast för ungdomar. Särbehandlingen grundar sig på antaganden om att unga har en outvecklad ansvarsförmåga, att de är särskilt sanktionskänsliga och att det dessutom ingår i deras utveckling att testa gränser. Vidare ställer barnkonventionen, vilken Sverige är folkrättsligt bunden av, särskilda krav på hur unga ska hanteras i påföljdssystemet.

På senare tid har de kriminalpolitiska vindarna blåst mot att ta hårdare tag om de unga lagöverträdarna, inte minst genom Ds 2017:25 Nya ungdomspåföljder och dir. 2017:122 Skärpta regler för lagöverträdare 18–20 år. Särbehandlingens utformning, och även existens vad gäller myndiga unga lagöverträdare, är således i ropet. Mot bakgrund av detta har uppsatsens syfte varit att undersöka huruvida det finns risk för intressekonflikter mellan de intressen som görs gällande i påföljdssystemet i stort och särbehandlingen av unga lagöverträdare, samt belysa balansgången mellan motstridiga intressen ur ett straffteoretiskt och kriminologiskt perspektiv.

Ur ett straffteoretiskt perspektiv har det framför allt visat sig finnas risk för intressekonflikter mellan individualpreventiv behandling och humanitetsprincipen å ena sidan, samt proportionalitetsprincipen och allmän-prevention å andra sidan. Denna risk föreligger särskilt om ovan nämnda reformförslag går igenom eftersom nuvarande balans i påföljdssystemet då sätts i gungning. Det har dock visat sig att förslagen till stor del är straffteoretiskt svårmotiverade, framför allt då några åtgärder snarare tycks utgöra signalpolitik än bevisat effektiva lösningar på konstaterade problem.

Ur ett kriminologiskt perspektiv har det visat sig finnas lite stöd för att ungdomsbrottsligheten skulle vara ett växande problem på väg att urarta. Visserligen är ungdomar en brottsaktiv grupp, men den mesta brottslighet som begås av ungdomar är av lindrig karaktär. Dessutom tyder ingenting på att ungdomsbrottsligheten har ökat varken i omfattning eller allvar. Ur ett kriminologiskt perspektiv uppenbarar sig således inte heller någon anledning till radikala förändringar av nuvarande system. (Less)
Abstract
Juvenile delinquents have had a special position in the Swedish penal system for a long time. Today, a person committing a crime before the age of twenty-one will be treated differently than an adult offender. Inter alia, the juvenile delinquent gets a reduced sanction because of the “juvenile discount”, benefits a higher threshold for being sentenced to custodial sanctions, and can be sentenced to particular juvenile sanctions. This special treatment is founded on assumptions that juveniles have an un-developed sense of responsibility, that they are more sensitive to punishment and that “testing the limits” is a part of their growth. Furthermore, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Sweden is bound to follow by... (More)
Juvenile delinquents have had a special position in the Swedish penal system for a long time. Today, a person committing a crime before the age of twenty-one will be treated differently than an adult offender. Inter alia, the juvenile delinquent gets a reduced sanction because of the “juvenile discount”, benefits a higher threshold for being sentenced to custodial sanctions, and can be sentenced to particular juvenile sanctions. This special treatment is founded on assumptions that juveniles have an un-developed sense of responsibility, that they are more sensitive to punishment and that “testing the limits” is a part of their growth. Furthermore, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Sweden is bound to follow by international law, demands certain handling of the juveniles in the penal system.

Recently, the criminal politics have started to turn to tougher responses towards juvenile delinquents, not least with the two proposals of new legislation Ds 2017:25 Nya ungdomspåföljder and dir. 2017:122 Skärpta regler för lagöverträdare 18–20 år. What the special treatment of juvenile delinquents should be like, but also its whole existence concerning juveniles in the age of 18–20 years old, is therefore now under discussion. Against this backdrop, the aim of the thesis has been to examine whether there is a risk of clash of interests between the general interests of the penal system, and the interests of treating juvenile delinquents differently. Moreover, the aim has been to illuminate the balancing act of the discordant interests from two perspectives, a perspective of penal theory and a criminological perspective.

From a perspective of penal theory, the risk of clash of interests is primarily between individual prevention by rehabilitation and humanity on one hand, and proportionality and general prevention on the other. Particularly, the risk is forthcoming if the above-mentioned proposals enter into force since the current balance in the penal system then will be wobbled. However, the proposals are hard to justify from a penal theoretical point of view, especially since some measures rather seem to be political signals than efficient solutions to stated issues.

From a criminological perspective, there is little supporting that the juvenile delinquency is a growing problem about to degenerate. Certainly, juveniles are a group with high crime rate, but most of the criminality consists of minor offences. Furthermore, nothing indicates that the juvenile delinquency has increased neither in extent nor seriousness. From a criminological perspective, no reason exposes that would plead for radical changes of the current system either. (Less)
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author
Palmqvist, Thea LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Young, foolish and treated differently - A penal theoretical study of the different treatment of juvenile delinquents in the penal system
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt, Unga lagöverträdare, Ungdomsrabatt, Straffteori, Kriminologi, Ungdomsbrottslighet, Ungdomskriminalitet, Särbehandling, Barn, Påföljdssystemet
language
Swedish
id
8941222
date added to LUP
2018-06-13 10:40:58
date last changed
2018-06-13 10:40:58
@misc{8941222,
  abstract     = {Juvenile delinquents have had a special position in the Swedish penal system for a long time. Today, a person committing a crime before the age of twenty-one will be treated differently than an adult offender. Inter alia, the juvenile delinquent gets a reduced sanction because of the “juvenile discount”, benefits a higher threshold for being sentenced to custodial sanctions, and can be sentenced to particular juvenile sanctions. This special treatment is founded on assumptions that juveniles have an un-developed sense of responsibility, that they are more sensitive to punishment and that “testing the limits” is a part of their growth. Furthermore, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Sweden is bound to follow by international law, demands certain handling of the juveniles in the penal system.

Recently, the criminal politics have started to turn to tougher responses towards juvenile delinquents, not least with the two proposals of new legislation Ds 2017:25 Nya ungdomspåföljder and dir. 2017:122 Skärpta regler för lagöverträdare 18–20 år. What the special treatment of juvenile delinquents should be like, but also its whole existence concerning juveniles in the age of 18–20 years old, is therefore now under discussion. Against this backdrop, the aim of the thesis has been to examine whether there is a risk of clash of interests between the general interests of the penal system, and the interests of treating juvenile delinquents differently. Moreover, the aim has been to illuminate the balancing act of the discordant interests from two perspectives, a perspective of penal theory and a criminological perspective. 

From a perspective of penal theory, the risk of clash of interests is primarily between individual prevention by rehabilitation and humanity on one hand, and proportionality and general prevention on the other. Particularly, the risk is forthcoming if the above-mentioned proposals enter into force since the current balance in the penal system then will be wobbled. However, the proposals are hard to justify from a penal theoretical point of view, especially since some measures rather seem to be political signals than efficient solutions to stated issues. 

From a criminological perspective, there is little supporting that the juvenile delinquency is a growing problem about to degenerate. Certainly, juveniles are a group with high crime rate, but most of the criminality consists of minor offences. Furthermore, nothing indicates that the juvenile delinquency has increased neither in extent nor seriousness. From a criminological perspective, no reason exposes that would plead for radical changes of the current system either.},
  author       = {Palmqvist, Thea},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt,Unga lagöverträdare,Ungdomsrabatt,Straffteori,Kriminologi,Ungdomsbrottslighet,Ungdomskriminalitet,Särbehandling,Barn,Påföljdssystemet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ung, dum och särbehandlad - En straffteoretisk granskning av särbehandlingen av unga lagöverträdare i påföljdssystemet},
  year         = {2018},
}