Evalutation of the newly introduced option of youth detention in conjunction with youth penalty suspended on probation (shock detention)

Project period

1.1.2014 – 30.4.2016

Project staff

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bliesener (Projektleiter)

Dipl.-Psych. Thimna Klatt, M.Sc.

Laura Treskow, M.A.


Bundesministeriums der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Theresia Höynck, Universtiy of Kassel

Stephanie Ernst, University of Kassel


KFN is studying the application in practice of the new sentencing option under Section 16a of the German Youth Courts Act (JGG) of imposing youth detention alongside a youth penalty suspended on probation, along with its consequences for other forms of sanction under the Act.

The aim of the study is to investigate as thoroughly as possible the disciplinary measure referred to in the German literature and the public debate as ‘Warnschussarrest’, which roughly translates as ‘shock detention’. Among other things, youth prosecution files will be analysed to see how Section 16a is applied in practice. In addition, individual data from the criminal prosecution statistics for the years 2011 to 2014 will be evaluated to find out what effects the introduction of youth detention in conjunction with youth penalty has had on other disciplinary measures under the Youth Courts Act. A written survey will also be conducted of adolescents and young adults sentenced to youth penalty suspended on probation with or without additional youth detention. Finally, practitioners (probation officers, youth court judges and detention centre governors) will be surveyed with regard to their experience with arrest under Section 16a of the Act.

Federal Central Criminal Register (BZR) data will also be analysed to measure recidivism among individuals sentenced under Section 16a compared with individuals given a suspended sentence without youth detention.

Project related publications