Crime by young people can blight communities and make everyone
feel unsafe. However, socially excluded young people and young offenders
remain children first, offenders and/or antisocial individuals second,
and thus cannot be treated in the same way as offending adults.
It is important to find the right balance between protecting
the community – and other young people – from crime, while making
the best possible use of the fact that a child/young person, as
a developing, learning human being, is still open to positive socialising
influences. Retribution and punishment should thus take second place
to social measures for, and education and rehabilitation of young
offenders. Deprivation of liberty should be a last resort.
Member states are therefore invited to take the necessary
measures to prevent juvenile delinquency in the first place and
to educate young offenders to avoid reoffending.