Juvenile Justice in Russia

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Administration of juvenile justice--Russia


Criminology and Criminal Justice


This chapter delineates the history, landmarks and challenges of the juvenile justice system in Russia through several types of government. Education became part of the system in the early 1900s. Under Stalin, juveniles lost their distinctive status in the criminal justice system. It was restored in 1953. The breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991 correlated with increases in social problems that left many youths without adult supervision. The juvenile justice system allows for early release, expunging of records and special rules about interrogation. The Commission on Juvenile Affairs, which is separate from the criminal justice system, handles “less serious cases” and its role is “more preventative rather than guilt-proving.” More serious cases are adjudicated through the criminal justice system. Juvenile detention in Russian penal colonies declined dramatically in recent years. The Commission runs alternative boarding schools. Juvenile justice reform is controversial, though, with a strong faction in favor of punishment.


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Publisher Citation

Bystrova, E., & Tcherni, M. (2015). Juvenile Justice in Russia. In M. D. Krohn & J. Lane (Eds.), The Handbook of Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice. Chichester, West Sussex, UK ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 40-48. ISBN: 978-1118513170