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‘Goldies’, ‘Birdies’ and ‘Oldies’: An Exploratory Analysis of Young Adults in Portuguese Prisons

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

Within the debate on the transitional age processes of youth in contemporary societies, this chapter analyses the profiles of young adults placed in Portuguese prisons. A unique portrait is drawn based on the existing statistical data from the prison services. Through cluster analysis, this population was classified into three groups. Findings emphasise different types of crime profiles in relation to the sociodemographic characteristics of the young people concerned (age, gender, educational background, nationality and place of residence). Although the Portuguese jurisdiction has established a special criminal law regime setting up distinct specialised facilities for young adults, results highlight the fact that most of them, some even at a minor age, are placed in prisons with older adults due to the lack of appropriate penitentiary establishments.

Keywords

  • Young adults
  • Minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR)
  • Criminal law for young adults
  • Criminal profiles
  • Incarceration

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Available at: https://www.ohchr.org/en/countries/enacaregion/pages/ptindex.aspx. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: Concluding observations (2019) CRC/C/PRT/CO/5-6. UN Human Rights Committee: Concluding observations (2020) CCPR/C/PRT/CO/5.

  2. 2.

    Introduced by Decree-Law no. 496/77, of 25 November 1977, which brought the Civil Code into line with the principles of the 1976 Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, approved after the Revolution on 25 April 1974. Until then, the age of civil majority was 21.

  3. 3.

    It can only be applied if all others are inadequate or insufficient and if there is strong evidence of an intentional criminal offence punishable by a maximum prison sentence of more than 5 years; there is strong evidence of an intentional criminal offence corresponding to violent crime; there is strong evidence of an intentional criminal offence of terrorism or corresponding to highly organised crime punishable by a maximum prison sentence of more than 3 years; there is strong evidence of an intentional crime of aggravated bodily injury, aggravated theft, aggravated damage, computer and communications fraud,receiving stolen goods, forging or counterfeiting a document, attempt on the safety of road transport,punishable by a maximum prison sentence of more than 3 years; there is strong evidence of an intentional criminal offence of possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of weapons and other devices, products or substances in prohibited places or a criminal offence with the use of a weapon, pursuant to the legal regime on weapons and their ammunition, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of more than 3 years; or in the case of a person who has entered or remains illegally in the national territory, or against whom extradition or deportation proceedings are underway.

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Acknowledgements

Carvalho acknowledges that her participation in this work was supported by the FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), through an individual postdoctoral research grant (SFRH/BPD/116119/2016), under Operational Human Capital Program (POCH) funds, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES).

The English revision was financed by national funds through the FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., within the scope of the project “UIDB/04647/2020” of CICS.NOVA—Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences of NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

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de Carvalho, M.J.L., Urbano, C., Duarte, V. (2021). ‘Goldies’, ‘Birdies’ and ‘Oldies’: An Exploratory Analysis of Young Adults in Portuguese Prisons. In: Gomes, S., de Carvalho, M.J.L., Duarte, V. (eds) Incarceration and Generation, Volume I. Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82265-1_6

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-82264-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-82265-1

  • eBook Packages: Law and CriminologyLaw and Criminology (R0)