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Fig. 4-2-1-1 illustrates the flow of treatment of juvenile delinquents.
When the police or other authority clear a juvenile offender aged 14-19(excluding cases related to the payment of non-penal fines for traffic violations,see Chapter1 of this part for the definition of juvenile offenders aged14-19),it refers the case directly to a family court for offenses liable to fines or lighter punishment,or to a public prosecutor for other offenses.After the referral,the public prosecutor must complete its investigation on the case and then refer the case to a family court with an opinion on treatment of the juvenile if any offense is suspected,or if any status offense is acknowledged even when there is no suspicion of any offense.
The public prosecutor may request detention only in unavoidable circumstances.When such detention is required,a judge may detain the juvenile in a juvenile classification home.Instead of a request for detention,the public prosecutor may request a judge for protective detention for the juvenile(commitment to a juvenile classification home).In this case,the juvenile is detained at a juvenile classification home based on the warrant issued by the judge.
As for juvenile offenders under 14 and status offenders under14,priority is given to measures under the Child Welfare Law.In principle,anyone who has discovered a child without a guardian or a child who is deemed inappropriate to be placed in the custody of his or her guardian should notify the case to a prefectural welfare office or child guidance center.A family court may subject such juvenile to a hearing only when it receives the referral from the prefectural governor or the director of the child guidance center.
Anyone who has discovered a status offender aged14or over should,in principle,notify the case to a family court.A police officer or a guardian may directly notify the case to a child guidance center if the status offender is less than18years of age as long as the police officer or guardian deems it more appropriate to handle the case first using measures under the Child Welfare Law than to directly refer or notify the case to a family court.
After receiving a case,the family court may order a family court probation officer to interview the juvenile,guardians and witnesses,and to conduct other necessary investigations concerning the behavior,background,predisposition,and environment etc.of the juvenile,guardians and other persons concerned.When necessary for conducting a hearing,the family court,making an adjudication of protective detention,may require classification on predisposition by detaining the juvenile in question in a juvenile classification home for a certain period of time.
Fig. 4-2-1-1Flowchart of treatment proceedings for juvenile offenders and delinquents
Moreover,when the victim(s)or any other person related to of a crime committed by a juvenile offers a statement about his or her emotions and opinions on the damage caused by the case,the family court must hear such statements itself or order family court probation officers to hear them.
The family court terminates a case by making a decision of dismissal without a hearing if,in light of the result of investigations,it determines that it is impossible or inappropriate to subject the juvenile to a hearing.If the court determines that a hearing should be conducted on the juvenile,it makes a decision to commence such hearing.If the hearing leads the court to determine that it is impossible or unnecessary to place the juvenile under protective measures,it has to make a decision to dismiss the juvenile after the hearing.
Each hearing at a family court is generally performed by a single judge.However,if it is decided by a collegiate body to perform a hearing by a collegiate body,the collegiate body of judges handles the hearing.A hearing at a family court must be closed to the public and performed in a cordial manner and in a relaxed atmosphere,and must encourage the delinquent juvenile to reflect on his or her own delinquency.On the date of hearing,the juvenile and his or her guardians are summoned.A family court probation officer is also required to be present in principle.In addition,relatives of the juvenile,teachers and other persons deemed appropriate may be allowed to attend the hearing.Furthermore,the family court may decide to have a public prosecutor attend the hearing if it recognizes that it is necessary for a public prosecutor to become involved in the proceedings of the hearing to verify the facts of the delinquency related to any offense committed by a juvenile offender age d14-19in which a victim was killed through the offender's intentional criminal act or any other offense committed by a juvenile offender that is punishable by death penalty,life imprisonment,or imprisonment with or without labor for a short term of not less than2years.In such cases,if the juvenile does not have a lawyer as an attendant,the family court must assign a public attendant to the juvenile.
With the permission of the family court,the juvenile and guardians may appoint a person other than a lawyer as an attendant.To appoint a lawyer as an attendant,such permission is not required.Guardians may themselves serve as attendants with the permission of the court.Attendants may attend the hearing.
If the family court determines,after the hearing,that it is appropriate to place the juvenile under protective measures,it makes an adjudication of probation,commitment to a home for juvenile training and education or a home for dependent children, or commitment to a juvenile training school.
Furthermore,if it is deemed necessary,the family court may take necessary measures such as admonition,guidance and so on at the investigation or hearing in order to ensure that guardians recognize their responsibility for custody of the juvenile and take action to prevent delinquency or may order a family court probation officer to take such measures.
The family court may also place the juvenile under tentative supervision,which is to prompt a family court probation officer to directly supervise the juvenile for a certain period of time,if it deems such supervision necessary to determine an appropriate protective measure.
In the case where the family court makes a decision to finalize a case involving a juvenile,if the victim(s)of the case or any other duly authorized person makes an application for notification of the name and address of the juvenile perpetrator and the details of the final determination etc.within three years of the determination,the family court will provide the applicant with the requested information.However,this must not apply to cases where such a notification is considered to be inappropriate because it might hinder the sound development of the juvenile.In addition,if the victim(s)of a case or any other duly authorized person makes a request to inspect or copy any record of the case during a hearing or within three years of the grant of a judgment of the hearing,the family court may allow him or her to inspect or copy the record as long as such inspection or copying are considered necessary for him or her to exercise the right to demand damages or for any other ju stifiable reason except for the case where such inspection or copying are regarded as inappropriate in consideration of their possible adverse effects on the sound development of the juvenile and the nature of the case and so forth.
The juvenile,or his or her legal representative or attendant,may make an appeal against the adjudication of a protective measure only on the grounds of a violation of any law or regulation that affects the adjudication,a grave error in the fact-finding process that influences the adjudication,or serious unfairness of the disposition(However,an attendant must not make an appeal against the clearly expressed will of the guardians who appointed the attendant).In cases where it is decided to involve a public prosecutor in a case,the prosecutor may request a high court to accept the case as an appeal case against the adjudication to give or not to give a protective measure only on the grounds of a violation of any law or regulation that affects the adjudication or a grave error in the fact-finding process.
If the family court determines,in light of the result of the investigation or hearing,that measures under the Child Welfare Law are appropriate,it refers the case to the prefectural governor or the director of a child guidance center.When the case involves an offense punishable by death penalty or an offense punishable by imprisonment with or without labor,the family court refers the case to a public prosecutor if it determines that criminal disposition is appropriate.Also,as for cases in which victims died due to intentional criminal acts that were committed by a juvenile at the age of16or over,the family court must refer such a case to a public prosecutor,except for a case where measures other than criminal dispositions are considered as more appropriate in light of the motives and type of the offense,the situations after the offense,the personality,age,behavior and environment of the juvenile and other conditions.The public prosecutor that receives such referral must institute public prosecution in principle.
A prosecuted juvenile is subject to the same proceedings as adults.However,special provisions are applicable to juvenile offenders.For instance,life imprisonment may be imposed on an offender who was under the age of18at the time of the offense even if the death penalty is appropriate for the offense.Similarly,imprisonment with or without labor for not less than10years but less than15years may be imposed instead of life imprisonment.Furthermore,when imprisonment with or without labor for a long term of three years or more should be imposed,an indeterminate sentence(where the minimum and maximum term of imprisonment are defined)within the scope of the penalty may be imposed.Moreover,juveniles who were sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor may serve their sentences separately from adult prisoners.For example,any juvenile under16who was sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor may serve his or her sentence at a juvenile training school until he or she reach es16years of age.In this case,even if the juvenile was sentenced to imprisonment with labor,he or she will not be subject to labor during this period and will instead receive correctional education at a juvenile training school.
Other special provisions are also applicable to a juvenile who was sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor.For instance,a juvenile who was sentenced to life imprisonment is eligible for parole after serving seven years and those who were under18at the time of committing the crimes and thus were sentenced to imprisonment for a fixed term instead of life imprisonment are eligible for parole after serving three years,and those who received an indeterminate sentence are eligible for parole after serving one third of the minimum term of the sentence.However,the special provision that grants a juvenile sentenced to life imprisonment eligibility for parole after he or she serves seven years does not apply to any case where a juvenile was sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty because he or she was under18at the time of committing the offense.
In principle,a juvenile placed under probation by a family court adjudication come under the supervision of a probation officer and volunteer probation officer and receive necessary guidance and support for his/her improvement and rehabilitation until he/she reach20years of age.Measures such as early discharge from probation are taken for a juvenile who is regarded to be no longer liable to commit a repeat offense in consideration of the improvement of his/her behavior during the period.
A juvenile committed to a home for juvenile training and education or to a home for dependent children is received by each of these facilities,which were established under the Child Welfare Law.A juvenile committed to a juvenile training school is admitted to one type of training school-primary,middle,advanced or medical-and follow a path for rehabilitation through correctional education there.A juvenile is placed under supervision after being released on parole from the school based on a decision by the Regional Parole Board.
Other juveniles to be placed under supervision include those who are granted suspension of execution of sentence as well as those who are released on parole from juvenile prisons or other institutions based on a decision by the Regional Parole Board after serving their sentences.
In addition,during or after completing a protective measure,if any materials are newly discovered that expressly show that the protective measure was taken despite the fact that there were no reasons for the commencement of the hearing,the family court that made such adjudication of the protective measure must revoke such a measure by an adjudication.
Explanation of terms
Home for juvenile training and education/home for dependent children: A home for juvenile training and education is an institution designed to give necessary guidance to juveniles who have committed or are likely to commit a delinquent act and also to assist them in becoming independent.On the other hand,a home for dependent children is an institution designed to protect children who have no guardian,have received abusive treatment,or otherwise lack proper care and also to assist them in becoming independent.