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English>>China Society

Judges use micro blogs to interact with juveniles

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

08:31, September 03, 2012

Teenagers surf Internet to explore novel things and understand society.

The Internet has turned out to be a popular way for many courts in China to prevent juvenile crime and communicate with young offenders, judges said at a national courts conference on Friday.

Many children and teenagers use the rapidly growing Internet to understand society and explore novel things, but it has also become a breeding ground for juvenile crimes, judges agreed.

Zhu Miao, director of the juvenile department of Shanghai High People's Court, told China Daily that it is imperative for courts to use the Internet to communicate with youth because more traditional ways, such as speeches and books, cannot get their attention.

"The Internet attracts teenagers, but it's hard for them to distinguish healthy information from the unhealthy," Zhu said.

"Courts, in their justice role, must gain an online foothold to extend legal education and guide young people to make the right choice when they face a fork in the road," she said.

Some grassroots courts in Shanghai have opened micro blogs to interact with students.

"Xiaoyuan Tianping", or "Campus Balance", a micro blog run by the Putuo district court on Sina Weibo, China's largest Twitter-like service provider, is trying to educate students by organizing mock courts. It provides information on juvenile offenders without using their real names. Judges in a moot court explain to the students why a case is tried that way and what they should pay attention to if they are ever in such a situation.

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