State Secretary Teeven Wants to Improve the Quality of Community Service

State Secretary of Security and Justice Teeven will present a plan of action at the beginning of June 2011 to improve the quality of community service for juvenile delinquents. The research report “How Juvenile Delinquents Experience Community Service”, which was published today, provides sufficient basis for this. State Secretary Teeven writes this today in a letter to the House of Representatives.

The research report shows that most juveniles find that community service has a positive side. They find it difficult to be identifiable and visible, but they also appreciate the fact that they receive compliments and can show the neighbourhood that they are not escaping their punishment. The fact that community service is performed in the neighbourhood is certainly not perceived by the juveniles concerned as the most important aspect. Their positive perception of a local community project rather seems to depend on the personality and working method of the supervisor, and the nature of the activities.

The research on how juvenile delinquents perceive community service was performed by the University of Amsterdam by order of the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Ministry of Security and Justice. It concerns a qualitative survey during which several community service coordinators of the Child Protection Board have been interviewed and thirty juvenile delinquents have been observed and interviewed in the period from November 2009 to November 2010.

According to State Secretary Teeven, the results of the research provide sufficient basis to pay extra attention to the quality of community service in the context of the “Community Service for Juveniles: Preventing Recidivism” project. In addition, the research report gives cause to investigate the possibilities of further extending local community service. The State Secretary will consult the Child Protection Board about these possibilities. At the beginning of June he will present his findings in a comprehensive plan to improve the quality of community service for juvenile delinquents.