Polish Policy on Youth crime

In Poland youth crime for last several years is staying at the same level. In spite of a slight decrease of youth crime in general, this tendency doesnt apply to the most serious categories of crimes * those connected with using violence such as crimes committed against health and life.

There are several factors which strongly influence youth crime such as drug abuse, alcoholism, skipping classes and other school related problems and family breakdown. A child under 13 years of age is uncharged with criminal responsibility.

According to polish law a person is underage when:

  • is under 18 years of age and is demoralised
  • is over 13 years of age but under 17 and committed a crime
  • is under 21 years of age is subject to educational measures or is staying in an approved school or reformatory

According to polish law in relation to an underage person following measures can be applied: educational measures, medical treatment or staying in the reformatory. Family courts deal with all the cases of youth crime. Detained underage person is placed in police remand centre for children, but can be kept there no longer than for 72 hours. In relation to underage person Act about the proceedings in underage persons cases from 26.10.1982 and some articles from Penal Code. In order to prevent youth crime in Poland competent public institutions, social care and local self-governments realise numerous programmes. They also offer necessary help aimed at the improvement of educational, health and life conditions. It is worth mentioning that many of the preventive initiatives are carried out in schools.                

* According to the right terminology used in polish law only adults commit crimes. Underage persons commit ‘punishable acts.

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