SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Amid a growing number of juvenile crimes in the country, a new poll has revealed that 9 in 10 South Koreans back legal reforms to introduce stricter punishment for teenage criminals.
According to a poll conducted by Realmeter with a sample of 514 adults released on Friday, nearly 65 percent said laws governing juveniles needs to be amended in order to impose harsher punishment on teenage criminals, while around 25 percent went one step further and called for the abolition of juvenile law, which would see minors subject to the same justice system as adults.
While only 8.6 percent said current legislation should remain as it is, the findings from the Realmeter survey show that the majority of the South Korean public backs change towards stronger punishment for teen criminals one way or another.
Opinions varied widely among each age group, with respondents in their 40s, whose children are mostly teenagers, showing the strongest support for legal reforms, followed by those in their 60s, with over 80 percent of both groups agreeing change is desperately needed as current laws are too lenient.
However, including those in their 20s and 30s, general support behind juvenile law reform was seen across the age spectrum, with over 70 percent of those in their 20s and 30s supporting either reforms or the repeal of current legislation.
Interestingly, support was at its highest level among those in their 40s and 60s, as parents and grandparents who fall in these age brackets are mostly like to have children in their teens and are most concerned with the violent crimes committed by teenagers in recent years.
When broken down by political views, supporters of liberal parties including the Democratic Party of Korea and the Justice Party showed slightly stronger support than their conservative counterparts, including supporters of the Bareun Party and the Liberty Korea Party, but the survey revealed the public strongly supports reforms of the juvenile law despite political differences.
A similar trend was observed among independent voters.
Earlier this month, the government introduced plans to raise the number of counselors for juvenile delinquents, following a series of major student bullying cases in recent years that sent the country into a shock.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)