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Beijing court says juvenile crime database can aid youth development

By Cao Yin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-15 15:11

A Beijing court is developing a database on juvenile offenders to help judges better understand a defendant's family background.

Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court said the database will help judges analyze why a child age 17 or under may have committed a crime and make rulings that benefit that child's development.

"The database will hold as much information as possible, such as family background, education and upbringing, as well as information about the victim or victims," the court said on Thursday.

"We also want to use the data to find management or supervision problems that could harm a child's development, and then push forward revisions of juvenile legislation."

The court established a tribunal for handling cases involving juveniles in June 2009. So far, it has dealt with more than 200 criminal cases and punished 234 young offenders.

Although the number of criminal cases involving children has fallen over the past decade, "some problems related to juveniles still require attention", the court said.

For example, juvenile crimes mainly relate to violence, including homicide, intentional injury, robbery and fraud, with most offenders age 16 or 17. In addition, more than 57 percent of young offenders are the children of migrant workers, according to the court.

Lu Weimin, vice-president of the court, said judges are asked to conduct social surveys in the hometowns of children who move with parents or relatives to Beijing, "to understand more about why they may have committed a crime and whether they were better cared for before or after moving to the capital".

"The surveys help us find the root cause of a juvenile's actions," Lu added. "We're exploring other measures to solve juvenile disputes, to effectively protect the rights of young people."

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