Toulouse. New Code of Criminal Justice for Minors: a reform to respond to the rise in juvenile delinquency
The criminal justice system for minors is the subject of a major reform. Since September 30, the text has entered into force. The aim is to clarify and speed up procedures concerning minors.
Punitive expedition, rape of a young woman in the Mirail district, settling of scores between rival gangs with knives… The last few years have been marked by the rise in violence and delinquency among young people. “The trio of drug trafficking, theft and violence, these are most of the cases that we deal with”, sums up Antoine Leroy, deputy public prosecutor within the protection of persons, minors and family at the judicial court of Toulouse.
To better respond to this phenomenon, from September 30, the new Code of Criminal Justice for Minors (CJPM) comes into force. The objectives are clear: to simplify procedures, speed up the trial process for juvenile delinquents and finally limit measures for the provisional detention of juvenile delinquents. The main goal of this reform: to reduce the time between the commission of the offense and the judgment of the minor. “I remember a young man who had been involved in petty drug trafficking, at the time he had not heard of his conviction but he had settled down with his girlfriend had found a job when the sentence fell , he did not understand. He had to warn his employer that he had a sentence to serve, ”says an educator from the Judicial Youth Protection (PJJ).
Question number: 45% of cases currently judged are after the 18 years of the person concerned. Thanks to the implementation of this text, when a minor minor is indicted, he then passes into the office of a children’s judge accompanied by his lawyer, his parents and his or her victims.
“During this interview, the judge will rule on the young person’s guilt. It will also determine the damages to be paid to the victim. It is new, the victim does not have to wait any longer and it is fundamental ”, further specifies the deputy public prosecutor. At the end of the meeting, the young person leaves with a court date to know his sentence. Between the facts and the final decision, the time must not exceed one year. During these 12 months, the minor may be subjected to an educational probation measure with a certain number of obligations to be observed. “It is the services of the PJJ which are responsible for the implementation of these measures”, further notes the person in charge of the protection of persons, minors and the family. With this reform, the judicial educational measure will be unique and will replace the multiplicity of sanctions that could sometimes accumulate for certain minors.
Pass the permit on to young people
“We have found many years ago now that young people were driving without a license or in a risky manner”, slips Anne-Laure Lancelot, one of the educators of the PJJ in Toulouse who has training as a driving school instructor. As a result, within the Judicial Protection of Youth in Toulouse, trainers provide practical and theoretical courses to young minors accompanied by the PJJ. “We study the candidates’ files but a place in this module is deserved,” notes her driving school instructor colleague. She also has the diploma for dispensing young people the authorizations to drive scooters. “We have a lot of very angry young people, you have to learn to respect the rules on the road, to control their emotions, to have composure, to observe your environment carefully. At the wheel, the lack of control of oneself or of one’s vehicle can be dramatic ”, analyze the two educators. In the code classroom that morning, two young people are seated. In front of them, a sheet with the famous boxes A, B, C or D. On the opposite wall, the question sequences are projected. “What does this sign mean?” Asks the trainer to the two students. The eyes meet and the answer bursts. Each year, in Toulouse, within the PJJ, several dozen young people have access to this module and thus obtain the license to drive a car or a scooter. A way for them to obtain the freedom to move in safety.