Teenagers given community service sentences in Rotterdam are to be made to carry out their allotted tasks in their own neighbourhood under a new agreement, the AD reports on Tuesday.
The deal, made between social workers and the Halt juvenile crime bureau, aims to stop teenagers reoffending and will apply to youngsters convicted of petty crimes such as vandalism, shoplifting and persistent truancy.
The city council thinks there are major advantages to making youngsters pick up litter or clean streets in their own areas, because these are often the places where they committed their crimes.
The youngsters, who are under the supervision of a social worker, also have to apologise to any victims of their behaviour and pay for any damage.
Council executive Joost Eerdmans told the AD he is not afraid that the teenagers will become stigmatised.
‘It is a very good thing that they will carry out at least part of their sentence in their own neighbourhood,’ he said. ‘Locals see that they are giving something back to their own community, they are being called to account and, where possible, they are repairing the damage. I also expect the policy to have a preventative effect.’
The Halt system is applied to youngsters aged between 12 and 18. Last year, 850 Rotterdam teenagers were referred to the Halt bureaus.
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