Far from being a homogeneous phenomenon, defined by a specific etiology and by motivations of antisocial nature, juvenile delinquency is a societal problem, whose magnitude and seriousness is evidenced both by official statistics and the reports in the media. The evolution of juvenile delinquency in Romania has been influenced both by the emergence of new "risk" factors and of specific conditions in the current transitional period (impoverishment and pauperization of the population, lack of jobs, increasing number of families with 'problems' and abandoned children, dissolution of family and community control, etc.) and by the inefficiency of the existing system of sanctions and penalties applied to juvenile offenders and the delay in juvenile justice reform. This study attempts to highlight some obstacles and difficulties, older and newer, which impeded the establishment and functioning of a juvenile criminal justice system in Romania, as it exists in other European and North American countries, in order to identify solutions for the optimization of the system of sanctions for juvenile offenders.
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