J.O.D.A. Juvenile Offenders Detention Alternatives in Europe Introduction


The monitoring work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child makes it clear that detention is not always a last resort measure and that there are insufficient alternatives to detention in several EU Member States. Furthermore, best practices seem to be rarely mainstreamed, thus preventing their transferability in other contexts.

Although there has been some recent improvement in the availability of community sanctions for juvenile offenders, serious concerns remain about the gap between the theory of the international rules and the reality of practice.

This is why, exchanging with the other co-beneficiaries in accordance with the two substantial provisions dealing with juvenile justice (Article 40) and detention (Article 37) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Recommendation Rec(2006)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the European Prison Rules, it was decided to focus the JODA project on the identification of detention alternatives for juvenile offenders and the exchange and promotion of best practices among key actors.

The JODA project aims to identify good practices in alternative detention measures for juvenile offenders inserted in the juvenile justice system, taking into account these two key elements:

  • The need for security from the media and society.
  • The youth’s right to rehabilitation and re-inclusion.

The general approach of the project assumes mutual learning and close cooperation between partners at a European and national level as critical success factors for the implementation of the activities.

The methodology used focuses firstly on a desk and benchmarking analysis of the different contexts and legal frameworks in the involved Member States, in relation to detention alternatives targeted at juveniles in conflict with the law.


Funded by the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union