Offenders under age 18 can be freed from detention in cases pertaining to their first offense against public order, if a draft law on penalties for offences against public order, which was now under the third reading by China's top legislature, is amended.
Previously, the law regulated that the young offenders under 16 years old could be freed from detention in cases pertaining to their first offense against public order.
An official with the criminal law office under the the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee said the revision was based on suggestions by some lawmakers, that is, detention record may affect, or even ruin, a youngster's rest of life.
"The revision is a hard and cautious option between lawmakers' suggestions and the current high frequency of juvenile delinquency," said the official.
The Ministry of Public Security released the newest statistics this month, showing that 44.7 percent of public order offenders caught by police authorities during the first six months of 2005 were those aged from 10 to 25. And over 70 percent of robbery crimes occurred in China during the first half year were committed by youths aged 10 to 25.
The draft law on penalties for offences against public order is expected to be voted for passage at the on-going session of the Standing Committee of the 10th NPC after the third reading.