Source: (2006) European Communities.

Furthermore, another German study (Dünkel, 2003) shows that the recidivism rate is lower, or at least not higher when diversion from prison occurs through dismissal of the case by the juvenile prosecutor or the Judge (sect. 45, 47 Juvenile Justice Act) Diversion includes non-intervention (for petty crimes), dismissal after educative measure (including victimoffender mediation), dismissal after the juvenile judge (according to the prosecutor’s proposal) imposes a caution, community service, VOM, a social training course, a disciplinary measure etc., or dismissal by the juvenile court under certain other conditions. Comparing young offenders who were diverted with those who, for the same offence, due to different regional practice, were sentenced with custody or another “formal” conviction showed that expensive formal and custodial sentences, which expose the offender to a violent sub-culture, have no greater effect in preventing recidivism than educative or restorative community sentences which might even be able to increase social and life skills and to support an offender’s re/integration. Other European countries, such as England and Wales (where the Crown Prosecution Service can discontinue the proceeding or the Court can send the young offender to a youth offending panel instead of sentencing him/her), Greece (art. 45 of the Criminal Procedure Act, introduced since 2003), the Czech Republic (where the law reform in 2003 extended the possibilities of non/prosecution in the sense of diversion considerably) or Austria (where the 1988 law reform was a stepping stone for providing restorative justice within diversion) do also use diversion as a cost saving and effective measure which reduces the case load of the Courts and prisons. (Excerpt)

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