13 Jun 2015 - 21:41
Life imprisonment for juveniles is now prohibited in Georgia. The country has a new Juvenile Justice Code that meets international standards.
The new bill regarding youth offenders passed with 79 votes in favour and zero against at its third and final hearing in Parliament on Friday.
Under the new regulations, all criminal cases in Georgia involving minors will be handled by police officers, investigators, prosecutors and judges who specialise in juvenile offending.
The main changes related to the youth offender's criminal record and prison terms.
According to the new law, youth offenders will now have a reduced pre-trial detention period from 60 to 40 days. A youth offender's conviction status will be removed as soon as their sentence period has finished. The period of being classed as an accused will be extended up to six months.
Changes in penalties also took place under the new law. Life imprisonment was replaced by house arrest; imprisonment as a form of punishment will be used only when it is strictly necessary, particularly for severe crimes where a youth is sentenced to a maximum sentence of 10-15 years imprisonment. Under the new law, life imprisonment for juveniles was prohibited.