De procesparticipatie van ouders tijdens jeugdstrafzittingen:‘Perspectief van kinderrechters, ouders en jeugdigen’.
Mik, L. de
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Background: This study investigates the parental involvement in the youth court and way that they participate in the juvenile court process. Literature shows that in order to serve the best interest of the child more involvement from parents is important. Despite this fact, parents are not structurally involved in the youth justice process. Little is known about the actual participation of parents in the youth court. Method: In order to understand the nature of the involvement of parents court observation data were collected in the courts of Den Bosch, Den Haag and Haarlem. Following to the youth sentence hearing a questionnaire is submitted to the juvenile suspects and their parents to obtains insights of the way they experienced the hearing. Results: The judge always invited the parents to speak in court. The majority of the parents attended the hearing and also uses their right to speak. Only a few parents take this opportunity to make an active presence at the hearing and there have some influence on the outcome. Most of the parents are rather passive. This leaves the question at way the judge actively tries to involve the parents and encourage them to participate. Most judges made no special efforts to meaningfully involve the parents. Conclusion: Despite that the parents are given enough possibilities during the hearing to execute their most import functions, like providing information about the personality and development of the juvenile and to provide moral support to their child, their role is not properly utilized. Most parents are badly informed about the process and they do not always know what is expected of them to say. On the other hand the judge is not always aware of the parents and their limitations. Little investments have to be made to efficiently use the time parents are given to bring up information and expand the involvement and participation of parents in youth court.