Though Montenegro has juvenile conviction statistics through 2015, the Serbian bureau of statistics has not published data for 2014 and 2015.
Although the population of Serbia is almost 11 times bigger than the population of Montenegro, it is obvious that the crime rate among juveniles in Serbia is significantly more pronounced.. These population statistics were collected in both countries in 2011 and are available on the bureau of statistics website of each country.
Serbia and Montenegro do not publish the same information, nor are their sites are properly updated so it is impossible to make accurate comparisons across indicators in order to determinate differences in juvenile crime including punishments and criminal offenses which are the “most popular” among teenagers.
What is clear is that in both countries there is a huge difference between the number of minors who are registered for the committed crimes and those who are ultimately convicted on the basis of these reports.
In numbers it looks like this: Serbia had 4,323 reported juvenile crime cases in 2011. The number decreasing in 2012 to 3,913 and again in 2013 to 3,844 .
In Montenegro, the situation is little bit different but the point is the same. The total number of reported juveniles was 240 in 2011, continuing its downward trend until 2013 and reaching a new high of 244 in 2015.
In Serbia, according to data by gender, in 2011, 145 girls were convicted, falling to 122 in 2012 and in increasing a bit to 128 in 2013.
In Montenegro, the number of girls convicted of crimes was minimal. Seven girls were convicted of crimes in 2011, a year later there was one additional conviction. In 2013 year there were just three convictions of girls and in 2014 and 2015 there were five convictions for female juvenile.
According to this data, out of the total number of convicted juvenile, female juveniles represented less than five percent of the juvenile prison population.
Juveniles in Montenegro in last 3 years had the highest rate of conviction for criminal acts against property, life and body, security and public traffic.
57% of convictions were for crimes against property. This was followed by crimes against life and body at 20% of cases. A much smaller percentage of the judgments were related to crimes against public security and traffic at 6% of cases.
For Serbia, there is no equivalent data available but the Statistical Office has obtained and published the different sentences for juvenile convicted of crimes. The data shows that the three the most common punishments for juvenile in Serbia during 2011-2013 were: measures of intensive supervision for older juvenile in 31 % of cases, disciplinary measures for older juvenile in 24% of cases and measures of intensive supervision for younger juvenile in 20.7% of cases.
When we compare the number of minors in prison with the countries of the region it turns out that Montenegro and Serbia have relatively low rates.
The Annual report of penal statistics published by the Council of Europe in 2014 shows that Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia have percentages of male juvenile prisoners of less than one (0.60% Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia 0.80%), while Croatia and Albania have percentage between 1 and 2 (1.20% Croatia 1.80% and Albania).
Marijana Camovic, Trade Union of Media of Montenegro
Ana Novakovic, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network