Ute och ränner – Elektronisk övervakning av unga lagöverträdare
Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to examine the potential effects on youths of an introduction of electronic tagging into the Swedish penal system for juveniles. The proposition of such electronic tagging, presented in SOU 2012:34 Nya påföljder (“New sanctions”) by the name ungdomsövervakning (“youth monitoring”), acts as a starting point for the investigation of the expected effects on youths. First, the political situation, the current and previous use of electronic tagging in Sweden and the general characteristics of young offenders are given a brief overview. Then, the problem of determining the correct link between the severity of societal sanctions and recidivism among youth offenders is briefly discussed, from the viewpoint of Jerzy Sarnecki and the three hypotheses he proposes. In the ensuing investigation, the ideas behind the introduction of electronic tagging for adult offenders into the Swedsih penal system, as well as the manner in which it was introduced, are dealt with first. Then, the known positive effects of electronic tagging on adult offenders are being examined. These effects are explained by use of three criminological perspectives on the causes of delinquency: Travis Hirschi’s social bond theory, Edwin Sutherland’s theory of differential association, and a perpective of general labeling theory. The staving off of the negative impacts of serving time in prison, the chance to keep one’s home and occupation (or receive help to acquire such), as well as the relative discretion of electronic tagging – these are suggested as the best explanations of the success of adult tagging. Attention is then turned towards the young offenders. Today’s penal system for juveniles is described and explained and the proposition of youth monitoring in SOU 2012:34 is examined in detail and compared to the current youth sanctions. Then, an investigation is made into how young offenders differ from adult offenders. Home environment, the process of maturing and developing an identity are identified as key aspects. Lastly, an analysis of the findings is conducted. It is noted that one group of youths who would come to be subjected to youth monitoring is today met with much less severe sanctions, while another group of youths is today subjected to youth detention (sluten ungdomsvård). This, together with some other factors, causes electronic tagging for youths to take on a different character compared electronic tagging for adults. Paired with the unique characteristics of young offenders, this raises some concerns about what the effects of the proposition would turn out to be.
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