Commission on Juvenile Affairs
Commission on Juvenile Affairs
in the USSR, a body charged with the protection of the rights of juveniles, the organization of work in the fight against child neglect, the coordination of the activity of all state bodies and social organizations regarding these issues, and also the consideration of cases involving offenses by juveniles. Commissions on juvenile affairs were established in 1961–62. The present Regulations on Commissions on Juvenile Affairs were ratified by decrees of the presidiums of the supreme soviets of the Union republics in 1967 (in the RSFSR, the Decree of June 3, 1967, Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta RSFSR, 1967, no. 23, p. 536). Raion (oblast) commissions are formed by the executive committees of the respective soviets and approved at sessions of the soviets for their terms of office. The commissions on juvenile affairs of the councils of ministers of the Union and autonomous republics are formed by the councils of ministers and likewise approved by the presidiums of the supreme soviets of these republics for their term of office.
Jointly with other bodies and social organizations, raion commissions on juvenile affairs locate, register, and make arrangements for the placement of juveniles without parents or juveniles whose parents do not provide them the necessary upbringing, as well as juveniles who have left school and are not working. They exercise control over the maintenance of work conditions for juveniles in enterprises and over the organization of industrial education and work training. For example, the administration of an enterprise does not have the right to dismiss a juvenile without the consent of a commission on juvenile affairs; when a juvenile submits an application for voluntary dismissal, this is communicated to the commission, which takes steps either to keep the juvenile working or have him placed elsewhere. The commission controls the conditions of maintenance and education of children and teenagers in industrial and technical schools, boarding schools, children’s homes, and the like, and it controls the organization of leisure in places of residence. The expulsion of a juvenile from an educational institution is permitted only with the consent of a commission, as is the transfer of a juvenile who has not received a general education from a school to an industrial and technical school or to a school for worker (village) youth.
Commissions on juvenile affairs call to account individuals who exert a negative influence on juveniles, enticing them into violating the law; they exert pressure (imposing fines or the obligation to make compensation for damages, posing the question of the deprivation of parental rights) on parents or guardians with regard to malicious violations of the obligations involved in rearing children or in connection with offenses committed by juveniles. The decisions of commissions are binding on institutions, enterprises, organizations, officials, and citizens.
The commissions consider cases of juveniles who have committed socially dangerous actions prior to arriving at the age of criminal responsibility or those who have committed offenses that do not present great social danger if the investigator (with the consent of the procurator) or the court feels it possible to limit the action taken to pressure exerted through a commission. They also consider cases of administrative violations or other antisocial actions of juveniles.
The presence of the juvenile and his parents is obligatory when a commission on juvenile affairs considers a case. The commission may either exert pressure as stipulated by the Regulations or else transfer the case to the procurator.
The commissions on juvenile affairs, together with the children’s rooms of the militia, exercise supervision over the behavior of juveniles upon whom pressure has been exerted, those sentenced to criminal punishment not involving imprisonment, and those who have received suspended sentences and those who have returned from educational training colonies and special training institutions.
G. M. MIN’KOVSKII