Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Juvenile crime rules 'hard to follow'

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

09:46, February 20, 2013

A prosecutor and the mother of a teenager in a reformatory check whether the boy has clothes warm enough to withstand winter weather. On Jan 16, six prosecutors in Zhengzhou, Henan province, accompanied relatives on a visit to 30 young off enders at the reformatory. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

New guidelines on juvenile crime are proving difficult to follow, particularly in rural areas, due to a lack of detail, according to prosecutors.

The revised Criminal Procedure Law, effective from Jan 1, has 11 articles designed to improve the way youth offenders are handled by the system. These include sealing files, compiling background reports on young people, having appropriate adults present during questioning and giving prosecutors discretionary powers to issue community service orders.

But confusion remains when it comes to enforcement, said Yue Huiqing, director of juvenile crime for Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate.

"We need more specific instructions," she said. "Otherwise the law may not have the proper effect."

Prosecutors have largely applauded the revised law, as it focuses on education, not punishment, for juvenile offenders.

Beijing has already witnessed the impact of some of the articles through a successful pilot project in 2012.

Each district now has a juvenile crime office, staffed by 114 specialized prosecutors. Last year, it handled a combined 2,000 cases, the city's procuratorate said. By comparison, in August 2010 Beijing had just 30 specialized prosecutors.

For Yue, a former judge who served for 20 years, sealing the files of young people sentenced to less than five years in prison and allowing the authorities to impose community service orders for minor crimes instead of prosecuting are signs of real progress.

"But the law still fails to answer many questions," she said.

She said having a criminal record can be a major career obstacle, as most jobs and exams require a certificate declaring an applicant has no previous convictions. The law now states only judicial bodies and "relevant departments" can access sealed files.

"But it doesn't define 'relevant', which is likely to create loopholes," Yue said.

"Can a young offender now apply for China's civil service exam? Can he or she take part in the teacher exam?" she asked. "These are the questions we're still asking, even though the law is in effect."

Fu Xiaomei, a prosecutor in Beijing's Chaoyang district, said at least four young offenders applying to study abroad had recently contacted her about requests by foreign embassies for criminal record information.

"I had no idea how to handle this because I couldn't confirm whether embassies are relevant departments," she said. "It's very frustrating for the young people and their parents, and for me."

【1】 【2】 【3】

We Recommend:

'Wedding' for two old men in Beijing

$16,000 splash to be washed emperor-style

So sleepy on way home in Spring Festival travel rush

Sweetest moment of 'mother-to-be'

Parents keep son alive with DIY ventilator

China's weekly story (2013.01.27-01.31)

Chinese New Year in country fair

A Taiwan student’s adventure in Beijing

Wedding planner: dealing with 'happiness' and 'love'

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangXin、Chen Lidan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Festive atmosphere created on missile speedboat

  2. New-type cold-proof equipment

  3. Highlights of Madrid Fashion Show

  4. China's weekly story (2013.2.8-2.15)

  5. Beauties at Beijing Film Academy enrollment site

  6. Fact check on Russian meteorite crash

  7. Happy big brother has birthday cake

  8. Chocolate fantasy park offers entertainment

  9. Facebook targeted by hackers

  10. Online money transfers soared

Most Popular


  1. CCTV's Spring Festival Gala: Glory days gone
  2. Who cares for the village doctors?
  3. The weakening yen's impact on China
  4. Young climbers aim too high in China
  5. China Focus: Festive traditions disrupt green efforts
  6. Chinese distrust strangers, lack shared values
  7. How to face wrestling's removal from Olympics?

What’s happening in China

Beauties at Beijing Film Academy enrollment site

  1. Parents urged to keep close eye on kids
  2. Divorce rate rises for seven straight years
  3. China to build earthquake warning system
  4. Gansu gets bigger role on cultural map
  5. Returnees discover fulfillment