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May-July 2019

Young Dutch cyber criminals get re-education rather than jail time

Youths that are convicted for cyber crimes are being put to work with IT departments in the private sector as alternative punishment to imprisonment, as part of a programme in the Netherlands. The Hack_Right programme is aimed at rehabilitation and education, and is a collaboration between Dutch police and public prosecutors, designed specifically to handle cases with young and sometimes naive hackers. Other partners in the project are Child Protective Services, and Bureau Halt which gives under-18 criminals alternative punishment, usually in the form of community service. Youngsters convicted through Bureau Halt will have no permanent criminal record that could otherwise greatly hinder them later in life. It’s in this programme that Hack_Right found its inspiration. Rather than cracking down hard on young criminals, authorities first try to re-educate them and give them meaningful insight into their actions without compromising their futures. This reduces the risk of reoffending, and it helps youngsters develop and then utilise...

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