5 Consistency in treatment

Juveniles are excluded from being subjects of the Juvenile Act upon reaching age 20 in principle and then become adults that are legally treated differently from juveniles. However, there is no clear difference in their actual behavior of those around age 20, and they do grow and develop rather slowly with steps both forwards and backs. The characteristics of the criminal tendencies and problems of young offenders, during the short period after becoming adults in particular, are similar to juveniles. The treatment and dispositions of young offenders aged 20-24 in particular should therefore be decided with consideration to their juvenile history of protective measures and the content of the treatment they received to make the treatment for their reformation/rehabilitation consistent.

The transition period from juveniles to young people is a period when they establish living bases, including employment, and not a few of them leave their families and living separately from their guardians, who are also their supervisors, in thereby attempting to be more independent. For those with a history of juvenile delinquencies, in particular, however, this is the period that they are likely to repeat delinquencies/offenses. Juvenile delinquents that received probation have their probation terminated upon reaching age 20, in principle, but are in fact more likely to commit offenses within the following few years. Measures to prevent offenses during this period are therefore important. This means that efforts need to be made to eliminate their problems and secure living bases, including employment before the probation while juveniles or other treatment terminates, to provide them with guidance on adjusting the environment that allows their social independence, and to connect them to the social resources that they can use to receive support in their local community after being separated from the framework of the treatment.

In addition, treatment towards young probationers needs to be implemented, giving adequate consideration to the fact that young probationers are likely to repeat offenses, and those with histories of protective measures including commitment to a juvenile training school while juveniles, in particular are more.