Pilot Conditional Certificate of Good Behaviour for Juveniles starts in Rotterdam

Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin and Mayor Aboutaleb today launched the Pilot Conditional Certificate of Good Behaviour ‘VOG’ for Juveniles at the Zadkine ROC in Rotterdam. This will allow juveniles, who are currently refused a VOG, to as yet acquire the required declaration, subject to strict conditions, in order to complete their traineeship during their education. The employers are closely involved in this process.

The pilot will afford juveniles, who are currently refused a VOG, the chance to as yet continue their education with a traineeship. This is important, because under the current rules a considerable number of juveniles cannot acquire a VOG and are consequently unable to start the (compulsory) traineeship. It concerns 150 persons in the Rotterdam area. It concerns juveniles that have been in contact with the judicial authorities and cannot obtain a VOG for their trainee post for this reason. If an employer wants to offer the relevant juvenile a trainee post despite this past record, the Ministry of Justice will issue a so-called 'Conditional VOG', so he can start his traineeship and complete his education. The issuance of the VOG is under the condition that the juvenile does not reoffend. As soon as he comes into contact with the judicial authorities again, the training institute will return the VOG to the Ministry of Justice. The consequence is that the juvenile will be forced to terminate his traineeship and will (temporarily) be unable to continue his education.

The pilot only applies to students of the Zadkine ROC and the Albeda College ROC in Rotterdam, which both participate in the pilot. The Public Prosecution Service will monitor whether participating students again come into contact with the judicial authorities.

The Ministry of Justice has made the pilot possible because it is of particular importance that juveniles complete their education and enter the labour market with a diploma. It turns out that in practice employers are often aware of the (judicial) past of a student who comes to perform his traineeship and that they do not object to the trainee. In those situations that the Ministry does not issue a VOG, the traineeship cannot be performed despite the positive attitude of the employer. The pilot overcomes this problem.

VOG

Many employers ask new employees for a VOG and sometimes they are required by law to do so. This also applies to hiring trainees. No distinction by age is made when issuing VOG's. The VOG shows that the information held by the judicial authorities does not present any obstruction to the (new) position or trainee post of the applicant. The VOG is issued if the investigation shows that the applicant has not committed any criminal acts. If he has committed criminal acts, it will be assessed whether this criminal behaviour is relevant as regards the object for which the VOG was applied for.

Most screening profiles of the Central Certificate of Good Conduct Body of the Ministry of Justice check back for four years in the judicial documentation. In practice, this can result in the following situation for juveniles. When he was 16, a boy was sentenced once to two weeks of juvenile detention for violence in a public place. Two and a half years he is refused a VOG for a trainee post in a health care institution for this reason. The pilot will make it possible to as yet issue a VOG, subject to strict conditions, so that the education can be completed.