Lithuania


JUVENILE DELINQUENCY SITUATION IN LITHUANIA


SURVEY RESULTS


YOUTH

150 young people (14-29 years-old) were inquired. 

The majority of the respondent was between 18 and 25 years old (73 were 18-21 and 57 were 22-25). 85% of respondents were women. 

More than the majority of the inquired (61,4%) agreed that youth crime is a problem in Lithuania, the remaining part considered that it might be an issue, while only 2,9% respondents were thinking that youth crime is not a problem at all in the country. 

According to the youths inquired, the crimes which are most often committed by youth in Lithuania are disturbances to public order, property destruction, bodily harms and thefts. 

Concerning the encounters with young delinquents, half of respondents (52,5%) indicated that they have personally met young offenders. 

When asked about their opinion regarding such people, 51% of the Lithuanian youth tend to be neutral. Also, 41,4% agreed to the quote that “they are the same young people as others, they simply just have been less lucky in life”. 

The survey also contained the question regarding the possible difficulties young ex-offenders are encountering when being released to freedom. The most popular answer group was “lack of social skills” (91,4%). Many youngsters also agreed that difficulties finding a job (82,1%), lack of non-offending friends (78,6%), lack of professional skills (75,7%) are also among the major issues faced by youngsters leaving the detention facility. 

Not surprising that the majority (78,6%) accordingly agreed that reintegration of these people should be improved in Lithuania. Involvement in youth work organizations was the top answer, chosen by 83,6% of respondents. Also, they indicated non-formal education means (75,7%) free and available leisure activities (52,9%). Therefore, 71% of youngsters agreed that integration of young ex-offenders through youth work activities could help. The ones who were part of various youth organizations (30%) provided the list of activities which are organized there: 

  • activities promoting equality, 
  • integration activities, 
  • after-school activities, 
  • trips, 
  • sharing good practices, 
  • participation in projects, 
  • non-formal education, 
  • hikes, 
  • pop quizzes, 
  • tournaments, 
  • (non-formal) education activities, 
  • volunteering, 
  • taking care of animals, 
  • discussions, orienteering, 
  • active citizenship promoting events, 
  • singing, 
  • seminars on various topics (from understanding body language and entrepreneurship to personal development). 

When asked to which of above mentioned activities young ex-delinquents could be involved, the majority answered “to all of them”. Some specified that if the youngster is already released to freedom and is interested in involvement in activities or organizing them himself, he could be surely accepted. Nevertheless, it was mentioned that it would be better not to say about his past to other people and simply participate in the activities offered by organization. Otherwise, that person might receive negative attitude of other members. 

There were also few people who remained reserved about the involvement of young ex-offenders in their organization activities. If (s)he is feeling sort of pushed to join the activities, eventually (s)he might behave non-adequately and/or burst emotionally. Lack of trust in that person (by other youth in the organization) or fear that a young ex-convict will be unmotivated were the other concerns expressed by respondents. However, there weren’t many of them. 

When asked about participating together in the same activities with young offenders (who are still in the detention facility), the majority (70,7%) wanted to have informal conversations with the latter. Table top evenings, community activities, pop quizzes, practical workshops were also among the most popular choices. 38,6% youngsters were afraid that they lack knowledge on how to communicate with young delinquents. Concerning their motivation to involve in such activities together with young convicts, 71,4% wanted to help this group of society, 57% were curious to get to know these people and 47,9% wanted to improve their own skills when interacting with this group of people.


YOUTH WORKERS

30 youth workers in Lithuania were inquired about possible integration of young ex-offenders through youth work activities. 

In Lithuania, most of the inquired youth workers had more than 5 years experience in the field, 60 % of them were working in NGOs and 13% in youth centers. 

Most of them were working with youth in general, while others were dealing with youth at risk, youth with fewer opportunities and youth with learning difficulties. 23,3% had already had work experience with ex-offenders. 

70% of respondents agreed that youth delinquency is a problem nowadays in Lithuania. The remaining part answered “maybe”, while there were no one who would say that it is not an issue. Accordingly, 66,7% said that involvement of youngsters with criminal past in youth work activities could help their reintegration back to the society and reduce the risk of re-offending. (23,3 % marked “maybe”). 

The activities mentioned by youth workers as the ones being implemented in their organizations are:  

 

  • promoting active citizenship, 
  • social integration, 
  • non-formal education, 
  • volunteering, 
  • social services,
  • camps of ceramics, 
  • mentoring programs, 
  • games, 
  • sport and cultural activities, 
  • entrepreneurship trainings, 
  • organizing events, 
  • dancing, 
  • paintball, 
  • summer camps, 
  • cooking, 
  • chats, 
  • tabletop evenings, 
  • pop quizzes, 
  • hikings. 

When asked in which of those activities young ex-offenders could be involved, the majority of YW answered “to all of them”. Some other specified educational activities, cooking, sport activities, creative activities, social initiatives, dancing, activities with people with disabilities. Youth workers remained positive about young ex-offenders organizing or helping to organize those activities themselves. Becoming volunteers in summer camp, preparing for a Christmas fair, hiking, sports, artistic and educational activities – these activities were mentioned by youth workers when considering activities to which young ex-offenders could contribute. YW emphasized that it is important to give some responsibilities to young ex-offenders. 

The majority of YW indicated that the main pro to involve this group of people in youth work activities would be to facilitate the integration of youngster who has been released to freedom (76,7%). 60% of YW also agreed that it would improve their (as youth workers’) skills. More than half of YW also agreed that it would be an important input solving a serious problem in the society and trying to reduce re-offending, as well as foster the skills of other youngsters in the organization. 

When it comes to concerns regarding working with young ex-offenders 63,3 % of YW mentioned lack of competence how to work with these people. 50 % were thinking about possibly challenging youngster’s adaptation process in the organization. 40 % considered a negative reaction of other youngsters in the organization towards such newcomer. Sense of unsafety was also among the options chosen by YW. 

With relation to this, when asked what would facilitate the beginning of involvement of young ex-offender in youth work activities, the majority (63,3 %) pinpointed special training designed for youth workers on how to include these people, as well as special methodology on that (53,3%). One third of YW also agreed that special online platform, through which young ex-delinquents could find their organization, would be also helpful. Only 6,7 % of respondents were confident that no special preparations would be needed for them.


YOUNG OFFENDERS

42 young offenders Kaunas Juvenile Remand Prison-Correction House were inquired. 

In Lithuania, the majority of inquired young offenders (YO) were convicted 4 times or more. 

When asked about the skills YO wanted to improve, there was a surprisingly high interest in improving foreign language skills – 57,1%. Also, youth in the detention facility were interested in improving professional skills (42,9%); as well as their skills related to emotional management (38,1%) and communication (35,7%). 

YO were generally positive about involvement in social activities organized by youth workers: 73,8% answered “Yes” and 26,2% “Maybe” when they were asked whether they would like youth workers to organize activities for them. There were no negative answers at all. 

When choosing the activities which they would prefer to be organized by youth workers, these were chosen most of the times: X-Box gaming tournaments (65,9%), sport activities (61%), tabletop evenings (36,6%), informal conversations with visiting non-offending youngsters (34,1%) and art activities (34,1%). Talent shows, pop quizzes, martial arts, practical workshops were mentioned by some respondents as well. 

Moreover, even half of young delinquents (51,2%) indicated that they would like to help organize these events. X-BOX tournaments (61,8%), sports activities (44,1%) and table top evenings (35,3%) attracted the most of interest in this case. 

When asked about to possibility join some events outside the detention facility, youngsters were mostly into attending:

  • sports events (65,9%), 
  • helping in animal shelters (48,8%), 
  • joining leisure activities, 
  • hikes (36,6%), 
  • environmental activities (36,6%), 
  • historical tours (36,6%),
  • cultural activities (34,1%). 
65,9

Sports Events

48,8

Helping in animal shelters

36,6

Hikes

36,6

Environmental Activities

36,6

Historical Tours

34,1

Cultural Activites

What would help them integrate? This question has also been asked to young offenders. 72,5% marked stable job and salary, 62,5% – circle of non-offending friends while 42,5% – possibilities to involve in interesting lawful activities (incl. youth organizations).