International Experience & Best Practices in the Application of Community Service Work to Juveniles
Community service work is intensively used by jurisdictions worldwide as a form of penalty for juveniles.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child prohibits the use of arrest as an ordinary form of sanction for children: "the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be [...] used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time." (Art. 37, para. b). Accordingly, as far as possible, States are encouraged to use non-custodial sentences. Community service work is one of the alternative sentence options to imprisonment.

As the present study demonstrates different jurisdictions use different types of community service work for juvenile offenders. However, the design and implementation of community service work programs must comply with children's rights standards and relevant juvenile justice guidelines.

The review of the Ukrainian legislation and case law on penalties to juveniles conducted by the DEJURE Foundation in 2021 revealed several problems in the application of the community service sentences for juveniles, in particular:

  • lack of infrastructure;

  • limited number of types of community services that could be applied to juveniles;

  • inappropriateness of existing community service options to the peculiarities and needs of juveniles.

The purpose of the study is to review international standards and best practices in the application of community services to juveniles, and to propose a list of successful community service work options to be used in Ukraine.

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