HALT – AN UNDERSTANDING
The intention of Halt:
A promising future for every young person… by learning from mistakes and making them right. Young people learn by investigating and exploring boundaries. Sometimes they go too far. Cross-border behavior poses a threat to a promising future. Knowing your limits and acting on them is important for a promising future.
Halt therefore wants to help young people to prevent mistakes, let them learn from mistakes and give them the opportunity to correct mistakes once made. This has helped young people themselves, but also victims of transgressive behavior and society in the broadest sense.
Vision of Halt:
Halt is active where young people are active. Stop is therefore:
- In connection with both the justice chain and the local youth partners: schools, neighborhood teams, youth institutions and sports associations.
- In development to provide increasingly better tailor-made solutions, aimed at the problems of the young person and the impact that the young person’s behavior has on victims and society.
- In control by professional employees and good business operations.
Children’s rights collective:
Halt is a partner of the Children’s Rights Collective. The Children’s Rights Collective monitors the implementation and compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Netherlands, in law, policy and practice. Together we stand up for children’s rights.
Why go to halt?:
The young people seek assistance from halt because many a times they do not know what to do when a line is crossed. Crossing a line may look small. However, a combination of activities and the number of times line is crossed may have a significant impact on the youth and may normalize criminal behaviour among them. Halt deals with solution to criminalization of youth and the crossing of boundaries.
How does the Halt penalty work?:
The Halt penalty is a penalty tailored to the offense or offense and to the young person. The number of hours the punishment lasts depends on a number of points such as age and the seriousness of the situation.
A Halt penalty can consist of the following parts:
- Conversations between young person, parents and the Halt employee.
- Creating learning assignments.
- Offering apologies.
- Compensate for any damage.
- A work order.
- Practicing (social) knowledge.
- Decrease of the signalling instrument.
Consequences of the Halt penalty?
A positively completed Halt sentence is not included in the judicial documentation. A young person therefore does not get a ‘criminal record’. If a young person refuses a Halt sentence or does not comply with his agreements, he is usually fined. A number of public order violations can also result in judicial documentation (a criminal record) when this fine is accepted. Think of rowdyness, public drunkenness and the possession of alcohol, for example.
Although the Halt sentence does not provide judicial documentation, the offense and the imposition of the Halt sentence are recorded in the police records (even if a young person refuses a Halt sentence). Usually the police keep the data about the Halt sentence for five years.
Halt registers personal data* of parent(s), juveniles and others involved in the Halt sentence, in order to be able to properly implement it. If necessary, Halt shares personal data of parents and young people with organizations with which Halt collaborates, such as the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the Council for Child Protection. Halt adheres to privacy regulations both when registering and when sharing information with other organizations. Halt does not store the data for more than five years.
* Personal data is all data that can be traced back to a person. For example: name, address and telephone number, but also the name and date of birth of parents. This data is stored digitally. Halt does not record more data than is necessary.
Declaration of Good Conduct (VOG)
When a young person successfully completes his Halt sentence, there is no problem in getting a Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG). You may sometimes need a VOG for a job or education. However, there are training courses, internships and jobs for which the police must conduct an investigation (screening). Think of training as a security guard or flight attendant, or an internship or job with the police or Marechaussee. During a screening, the chief of police may consider the Halt sentence in his decision. He then looks at the criminal offense, the circumstances under which the offense was committed, the chance of repetition and recent personal developments.
It is incorrect if a study program states on its website or in the brochure that a young person will not be admitted if he/she has had a Halt sentence. This is because a decision must be made by the chief of police (see above). Please note: sometimes this consideration can lead to a refusal. If you are refused a course, internship or job and you do not agree with this, you can object.
Refer to help
During the Halt penalty, the Halt employee investigates whether there is more to it. This is done on the basis of a nationally developed and recognized signaling list. Does a young person suffer from depression after the divorce of his parents or because he is transsexual and does not feel recognized at school? Is extra help needed because the family is in a difficult financial situation and therefore experiences a lot of stress? Does a young person often use drugs or alcohol? In such cases, Halt, together with the young person and parents (or other caregivers), can look for suitable help and initiate it, for example the neighborhood team. If care is already involved with the young person or the family, Halt will coordinate with this care provider. In case of serious concerns, we start the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Reporting Code and we have consulted with Safe Home.
Role of parents
Parents and educators are important at Halt. That is why Halt looks together with them to see what is needed to let their child learn from the (cross-border) behaviour. A good relationship between parent and child contributes to a positive development of young people. Especially when young people cross a border, parental involvement is indispensable. That is why Halt involves parents in the Halt sentence. They are present at conversations. But they also support their child during the Halt sentence, for example by offering an apology.
Halt supports parents in their role as educators. By giving parents more responsibility and strengthening their parenting skills. This contributes to a long-term positive development of the young person. After all, parents remain involved in their child’s life. If more help is needed, Halt and parents can look into additional help, for example from the neighbourhood team.
Importance of parent involvement
Research shows that strengthening parental involvement and parenting skills can help prevent criminal behavior among young people. It is important to involve parents at an early stage. As a young person gets older, the influence of friends, school attendance and leisure activities also increases .
Problems with parenting skills, such as little supervision and poor communication between parents and child, can increase the chance of criminal behavior. That is why it is good to look at how we can strengthen the parenting skills of parents.
Our approach with parents
During the Halt sentence, we want to empower parents to take responsibility and influence their child’s behavior. The approach is that we stand next to parents and together we look at what is necessary for their child. How does Halt do this?
- Halt usually involves parents in the start, apology and final meeting.
- Parents are involved in parts of the Halt punishment, for example in making the teaching assignments.
- Parents support their child in offering an apology and are also involved in a recovery interview.
- With the Parents on Turn method, parents use “cause cards” to talk to their child. They discuss why the child has done something criminal. And they make a plan that they want to work on together.
- If necessary, a Halt employee will speak separately with parents in a parent meeting. Then there is more room to discuss sensitive topics.
For all further information on the organization Halt please refer the link: https://www.halt.nl/.
Article by – Aniruddh Rajendran