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Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


This thesis deals with the question of how Swedish society responds when juveniles commit crimes. The concepts “treatment”/”goal-rational decision- making” and “correction”/ “norm-rational decision-making” is used to illustrate either the social services’ or the police/attorneys’ work. The focus of the study is social work co-operating with the legal system and the interaction between these two.
The aim of this study is to make visible and analyse factors, juridical and non-juridical, that affect the choice between treatment and correction of juveniles in an emergency situation, when there is a necessity to choose between immediate preventative custody on the one hand, and detention on the other. This study analyses the selection through outcome patterns, based on different factors.
Theoretically this thesis is based on six concepts. At first there are system and practice, and secondly there are treatment and correction. Together they form a model where the actors on this juvenile field can be situated. The strategies of the actors’ decision-making are implied by either norm-rational decision-making or goal-rational decision-making. The actors are the social services, the police and the attorney, and county administrative courts and district courts. Empirical data is studied through records of immediate custody and detention of juveniles aged 15-18 years old. The immediate denial of freedom represents, in the Swedish legislation, a process whereby social services and law enforcers meet and decide whether to treat or correct the juvenile. This selection is the focus of the empirical study of this thesis. In 1992, 1998 and 2003 a national overall survey was made of all juveniles aged 15-18 years that have been either in immediate custody or in detention or both. The data comprises 526 juveniles and acts. Documentation was obtained from the courts (administrative and public court of law) to form the material of the study. For a more deepened understanding this quantitative study was complemented with a qualitative study of the decisions. The results show that the general denial of freedom of juveniles have increased greatly during the years 1992, 1998 and 2003, and especially from 1998 to 2003. Almost all of the acts concern boys, even though girls are making at break-through in 2003. There are differences between the groups that either have been in detention or in immediate custody in ways of , “survey-year” “ethnic background”, “age” and “categorising of crime”. The differences are found in variables which can be seen as both juridical and non-juridical factors. The major increase in detention during the final year of the survey also shows that with regard to social work and law as separate systems and practices there is no functional interaction, since legislation (as well as social services) advocate immediate custody, when a serious crime is related to a youth. The results show that it is obvious that there are non-juridical factors, such as “ethnic background” that have impact on the selection; this requires further studies. This also invokes legal security on the agenda. This study also shows a large discrepancy between legislation and the legal practice. The results give strong incentive for further studies in this field, and also highlights the need for developing methods within social work, defining the social worker as a law-practising non-juridical profession. This study also emphasises the need of developing a legislative construction that is consistent and useful in the field, since a large discrepancy undermines the legitimacy and the legitimate demands of society.
Tilldelande institution
  • Stockholms universitet
  • Åström, Karsten, handledare
Sponsorer för avhandling
Tilldelningsdatum2006 juni 7
ISBN (tryckt)91-7155-176-x
StatusPublished - 2006
Externt publiceradJa

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Samhällsvetenskap
  • Socialt arbete
  • Juridik och samhälle

Fria nyckelord

  • Häktning
  • unga lagöverträdare
  • Omedelbart omhändertagande
  • frihestberövande

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