German research finds radical and evidence-based responses to young adult offenders in Europe


A new report by academics at Greifswald Universitat in Germany commissioned by T2A,  finds that European justice systems have embraced the need for a distinct approach to young adults at all stages of the criminal justice.

The report ‘Better in Europe? European responses to young adult offending’ by Dr Ineke Pruin and Professor Frieder Dunkel looks at international criminological research and evidence and finds that in much of Europe the same regulations, procedures and legislation are applied to young adults (18-24) as to the under-18s.  The authors found that it is common practice in Europe, particularly in Germany and the Netherlands, for young adult offenders to be allowed to remain in the youth prison system into at least their early 20s.

However, the report  found no consensus around whether establishing separate penal institutions would be appropriate or advisable.

Almost all European justice systems have accepted that young adulthood should be reflected in criminal justice laws or practice, including Germany, where the report’s authors are based.

Read an executive summary of the report
Read the full report.