Norwegian youth punishment: Opportunity or trap?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The question of how the criminal justice system should deal with young offenders is an old one. Traditionally, the Norwegian criminal justice system has held that it should treat young offenders less severely than adults. The use of imprisonment is therefore restricted. In 2014, Norway implemented two new kinds of penal reactions directed towards young offenders, youth follow-up and youth punishment, inspired by the ideas underpinning restorative justice. The intention of youth punishment is that it is more severe but better suited than community sentencing when young people commit serious crimes. Consequently, the use of imprisonment for young offenders should be further reduced. In this article, I describe the rules concerning the sentencing and executing of youth punishment. Overall, I am of the opinion that while the premise underlying youth punishment is sound, the rules need to be amended to better reflect the expressed intent of the legislator.