It is well known that we have a very serious situation in terms of deadly showdowns between the young men in our larger cities. Of course, upsets these extreme crimes. Out of an agitated debate will, however, rarely good policies on crime, if, with criminal policies mean the proposal designed to reduce crime and thus give us fewer victims in the future.
An excellent example of this is in the days delivered the report from the Ungdomsreduktionsutredningen (SOU 2018:85) whose mission was to propose the abolition of the so-called straffrabatten for young people aged 18-20 years. The criminal policy consensus as we have seen, formed in the Swedish parliament therefore welcomes the proposal for a general straffskärpning for young adults. In practice, this means the proposal that these should begin to be treated as adults, and to a greater extent placed in prison.
the Investigation points to the example of this is a principle which other comparable countries have. This positive action has, both in Sweden and in our neighbouring countries built on an understanding that young gärningspersoner is less mature and will be affected more negatively affected by a penalty than adults.
The billion plus who the politicians are planning to add on more fängelseår for young people who are in secondary school age would, of course, equally well be used to employ 2 000 special education teachers and teachers in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools.
the Inquiry also refers the merit of the results from the most current brain research, developmental psychology and criminology it is only possible to interpret as a support to retain a consideration of the gärningspersoners young age. They write: Against this background, we conclude that there is no empirical, or experiential, support for tougher penalties for young offenders.
the Clearer it can hardly be expressed. Nevertheless, we are thus faced with the fact that the Swedish parliament next year, make a decision that goes against existing knowledge. So what will the likely consequences be? In a recently published thesis from the highest point, the department analyzed the criminal careers and crime during the course (Sivertsson 2018).
. As shown in the figure below, this pattern is also fairly unchanged over time.Link to the graphics
the Figure teaches us at least two things. First, that crime is reduced among young men in the relevant age groups. For the second, and perhaps more importantly in this context, to brottsaktiviteten quickly reduces as they become older. In the future, if the politicians do not take into account the research, 18-20 year olds sentenced as adults, and to a greater extent placed in prison.
We recently published a study in the British Journal of Criminology, in which we can show to the young people who get prison instead of probation or tagging gets a weaker connection to the labour market years after serving his sentence, and that this in mainly associated with higher recidivism. Similar results have been reported from colleagues in Denmark, with the addition that they also been able to demonstrate that the imprisoned persons are given the young people opportunities to fulfil their studies more difficult.
When politicians refer to the gängrelaterat lethal violence among young men in order to justify the straffrabattens elimination as aside from that it is a very small number of young people who commit serious enough crimes. In the year 2017 there were 10 000 young adults which lagfördes for crimes, 26 of these for deadly violence, and these was also sentenced to custodial penalties. The remaining 9 974 young people lagfördes thus for the other offences drug offences of a less serious nature, acquisitive crime, assault and road traffic offences.
The majority of people who will be affected by the reduction in respect to age is therefore of young people who committed offences other than those the criminal policy debate has taken a view. For example, often young people fines when they are sentenced for theft. An adult is sentenced, however, to prison for this crime. A crucial problem with the proposal is that Sweden will send a large number of young people in prison instead of non-custodial penalties. With this bet, will not the number of future victims of crime to decrease, but on the contrary we risk to see further and intensified brottskarriärer.
We also believe that the garda commissioner is absolutely right when he stresses the importance of the action that slows the supply of new entrants to severe delinquency. Based on the research we conducted within the framework of our project on inequalities, life chances and crime during the last few decades, we know that there is no samhällsinstans, in addition to the family, is more important than the school to create protective factors for young people who are about to enter a criminal career.
We have shown that with good school results is young so plenty as protected from being prosecuted for crimes when they get older. But also that it is possible to come again for juvenile offenders, for example, thanks to the adult education or folk high school get a second chance. Unfortunately, however, we can, in our research at the same time see that over time they have of young people is increasingly a failed schooling behind them.
The billion plus who the politicians are planning to add on more fängelseår for young people who are in secondary school age would, of course, equally well be used to employ 2 000 special education teachers and teachers in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. This would be a bet that has the potential to equalize children's life chances and thus dampen recruitment into crime.