Worrying increase in delinquency among minors

A Senate report, unveiled on September 23, reveals a worrying increase in juvenile delinquency in France in recent years. A phenomenon that occurs more and more at school and very early.

  Worrying increase in delinquency among minors

A new senatorial investigation points the finger the scourge of youth violence . A very current phenomenon in our society when in 2020, the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti affirmed that 'The delinquency of minors has not increased in our country for ten years' and that the general feeling of insecurity was due to the 'permanent one-upmanship ' debates. The report of four senators (Céline Boulay-Espéronnier, Bernard Fialaire, Laurence Harribey and Muriel Jourda), submitted to the law and culture committees and published on September 23, contradicts these remarks. In France, in recent years, between 2016 and 2021, juvenile delinquency increased significantly.

Specific acts of violence

Based on reliable statistics collected by the police since 2016, the report shows that the share of minors represents 20% of all delinquency in France . On the other hand, in the figures, young people are over-represented in certain very specific acts of violence, in particular for sexual violence made on minors (46%) . A figure all the more edifying that the perpetrators of these acts are minors, just like their victims. This young audience is also affected by violent thefts (40%) and intentional blows and injuries over the age of 15 (30%). Their presence in drug trafficking has also been demonstrated. It increased by 35% between 2016 and 2021.

Precise figures, but it does not prevent that for the senators who participated in this investigation 'they alone cannot account for the reality of delinquency.' A phenomenon that seems much more complex than we think, and even more today with the role of social networks.

Social media is changing the game

The Senate report finds that social networks, today, have a part to play in the rise of juvenile delinquency , yet we do not take them into account or we minimize the impact they can have. 'All of the people interviewed (during the investigation, editor's note) admitted that these new digital tools could amplify violence, encourage action, even lead to an increase in certain facts (school violence, drug laws, or extortion for example)' , says the information report.

Violence at school

The violence is visible within the schools themselves. According to the report, reports of school violence are on the rise . Primary schools are not spared: '23.1% of CM1-CM2 students say they have ever been afraid to come to school because of violence.' Moreover, already in primary school, 50% of incidents against teachers are made by students. In secondary, middle and high school, ' ⅔ of establishments were confronted with at least one serious incident. The number of incidents per student has increased slightly over the past two years.' A sad reality, which recalls what happened a few weeks ago when a teacher was attacked with a knife by a young student, 15, in a high school in Caen.

For the senators, this delinquency at school also has a link with the dropout , even if the shift towards violence is also due to other factors, 'it is often an important part of it.'

How to fight crime and prevent it?

Faced with these observations, it seems urgent to prevent delinquency and act on it. From school, the first thing to do, say the senators, is to better deal with violent students . Temporary or permanent exclusion is a solution but very often it can 'constitute an additional factor in dropping out of school' . Each year, between 70,000 and 81,000 students are expelled from their schools. A host program during the period must be in place for these students. 'The objective is twofold: to allow him to understand and accept his sanction and to structure his time of exclusion.' Some local authorities have already launched the project, but this system must be generalized. Just like the springboard boarding schools . These establishments which cater to “highly disruptive students” are an opportunity for them. Supervision is reinforced by the presence of educators, and care is generally longer.

To prevent recidivism of minors, the role of the PJJ , or the Department of Judicial Protection of Youth, is also crucial. With all these observations, the senators have come up with 14 recommendations to try to curb this phenomenon:

  • set up statistical monitoring of juvenile delinquency and publish global and detailed annual indicators
  • develop sociological surveys on the perpetrators
  • improve the identification of digital offenses and assess the role of social networks
  • carry out more detailed studies of recidivism
  • follow up with young dropouts
  • allow a student under the age of 15 to have access to the adapted initial training course
  • introduce systematic care for all students temporarily excluded from their school
  • provide in each academy at least one springboard boarding school or dedicated places in traditional boarding schools for the care of poly-excluded students
  • set up an evaluation program for educational measures
  • redirect financial resources to develop existing measures
  • award a label by the education national for a minimum period of two years to all educational structures set up by the judicial protection of youth
  • strengthen partnerships between the judicial protection of youth and national education
  • increase the number of teaching hours for detainees in juvenile quarters
  • better take into account the consequences of the release of the juvenile offender on his integration
Source journaldesfemmes.fr