Juvenile offenders sent home to get help

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai (China Daily)      Updated : 2015-09-01

Juveniles from Jiangsu province who commit crimes in Shanghai can be brought to their hometown for redemption and supervision thanks to the country's first intra-provincial cooperation in juvenile prosecutions.

The agreement between Shanghai and Jiangsu province will make minors involved in crimes more equal in judicial protection, said Yi Shenghua, a criminal lawyer in Beijing.

Since 2003, most juveniles committing minor crimes in Shanghai have been given an opportunity to wipe the slate clean instead of receiving a prison term. If the young offenders have guardians or a fixed residence in Shanghai, they can be supervised in communities to keep them on the straight and narrow, instead of being arrested and prosecuted, in order to better protect juveniles while maintaining social stability.

But that seems impractical for those from outside of Shanghai. However, nonnative residents make up the majority of teenagers involved in crimes in Shanghai. Nearly 87 percent of the minors committing crimes in the city in 2014 were nonnative, and most of them did not have guardians, a fixed residence or source of income in the city, according to the Shanghai People's Procurator-ate.

A total of 68 observation bases - partner enterprises that offer young offenders a place to live and work - have been established in Shanghai since 2004 to help give minors fro mother provinces and cities equal opportunities to be exempt from staying in cells. Nearly 500 minors have received help from such bases.