• Emmanuel JOVELIN Directeur adjoint Institut social de Lille, Université catholique de Lille,


delinquent minors, educators, juvenile justice protection, singular professional culture, social work practices


France has a state administration that takes care especially of the delinquent minors. The Juvenile Justice Protection Services are the only ones allowed to implement certain measures, such as setting one free on parole or giving one suspension followed by a testing period. Thus, The Juvenile Justice Protection Services guides a number of specialists that they will finally hire. But what happens in other states? We have done a short review of the situations of other European countries to put forth, by comparison, the French specificity. Indeed, the issue of juvenile delinquency in Europe has been rising over the past few years tending to transform the predominant trends of education and prevention into a security one that toughens the measures regarding these minors. The main tendencies in juvenile justice protection prove the fact that the European states employ a common typology regarding the different degrees of penal accountability. Youngsters are considered responsible, irresponsible, or having limited responsibility according to their chronological age. With all these, the age threshold varies a lot amongst countries. In some countries, a 13 or 14 years old minor has a low responsibility in case of a misdemeanour whereas in Scotland or Great Britain a minor can be held responsible once he becomes 8 or 10 years old. Although these variations imply different practices within the assistance given to minors, still, they do not tell us much about the way this assistance is organized, educationally wise. In this context, the questions that are of interest for us are: Are there, in the European states, educators trained especially in juvenile justice protection? What is their training? What institutions they belong to? Where do they work? If there are no such educators, who takes care of the delinquent minors? These are the questions that I have addressed through this article to the professionals being in key positions in different European countries.


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