Criminal justice

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In focus

In 2020 the number of juvenile convictions amounts to 20'611 cases according to the statistics on criminal convictions and enforcement of juvenile sanctions. Adult convictions fell by 11% to reach just over 95’000 convictions in 2020.

Conditional financial penalties continued  to be the most common sentence (70%) in 2020. A total of 1 841 expulsions were issued in 2020. An expulsion was pronounced for 61% of convictions due to offences for which the legislator provides for compulsory expulsion.

At a glance

Adults

Key figures for adult criminal justice, 2020
  Convictions

Convicted
persons

Total1

95 330

86 771

By sex

   

male

*

71 311

female

*

15 460

By act

   

by SCC

34 075

30 600

by RTA

49 311

47 296

by NarcA (drug dealing)

4 777

4 594

by FNIA

13 930

12 080

Main sanction2    
Custodial sentence

13 569

*

of which suspended

5 588

*

Monetary penalty

81 516

*

of which suspended

66 227

*

Fine

106

*

Single measure

69

*

Source: Criminal conviction statistics (SUS), state of the Register of Criminal Conduct: 07.04.2021


Juveniles

Key figures for juvenile, 2020
  Convictions Convicted persons Persons in
external
placement

Total

20 611

17 415

1 060

By sex

     

male

*

13 524

959

female

*

3 891

101

By act

     

by SCC

7 944

7 314

*

by RTA

3 483

3 669

*

by NarcA

4 513

4 091

*

Main sanction3      
Custodial sentence

949

*

*

of which suspended

635

*

*

Personal work

6 487

*

*

of which suspended

1 321

*

*

Fine

5 692

*

*

Caution

6 898

*

*

Single measure

20

*

*

Exemption from punishment

565

*

*

Source: Juvenile detention statistics on preventive measures and sentencing (JUSAS), state of the database: 14.06.2021

¹ For adults only felonies and misdemeanours are included, because contraventions are only recorded in the register of convictions as an exception.
² One main sanction is established per verdict and this is the only one shown in the table. For this reason sanctions are ranked according to their severity and only the most severe sanction is shown. A custodial sentence is considered to be the most severe sanction for minors, followed by personal performance, fines, cautions and lastly exemption from punishment. For adults, custodial sentence is considered to be the most severe sanction, followed by financial penalties, community service, fines and measures.
³ For juvenile convictions felonies, misdemeanours and contraventions are taken into account.


SCC: Swiss Criminal Code
RTA: Road Traffic Act
NarcA: Narcotics Act
FNIA: Foreign Nationals and Integration Act

The statistics of criminal convictions of minors and the conviction statistics (adults) allow analyses to be made by conviction and by convicted persons. In addition to providing details on convicted persons, information is available on the offences and on the pronounced sanctions.

The statistics of criminal convictions of minors (JUSAS) and enforcement of juvenile sanctions record for 2020 all juvenile sentences that have been pronounced on the basis of criminal offences under the Criminal Code or other federal laws with criminal provisions for a violation of any federal law containing criminal provisions. In addition, in the JUSAS, all stays in an institution or in a penal facility are recorded statistically if they were ordered under the juvenile criminal law.
These include pre-trial detention, precautionary protective measures (institutional observation, open or closed placement), protective measures stated in the judgment (open or closed placement) and imprisonment. In the course of the criminal investigation and the completion of sanctions, a placed person can have the type of placement changed. The evaluations cover one year and identify each person once for each type of placement. Figures from the juvenile conviction statistics (JUSUS) are available for the years 1999-2019 and are limited to the juvenile sentences according to the most important laws.

The conviction statistics (SUS) shows all convictions of adults recorded in the register of convictions which were pronounced on the basis of a felony or misdemeanour. Contraventions are not taken into account as these are only rarely entered in the register of convictions. The conviction statistics has existed in its present form since 1984.

Further information

Tables

Selection: Tables on total of convicted persons

Selection: Tables relative to the main laws

Selection: Tables relative to the sanctions

Graphs

Publications

Publication to be downloaded in German

Publication to be downloaded in French

Press releases

Statistical sources and concepts

On this topic

Convictions of adults

Number of adult convictions per year. Detailed information is available on the laws and the individual offences since 1984.

Convicted adults

Information on age, sex and nationality have been presented per law and offence in detail since 1984. This statistical information are available at national and in almost all cases at cantonal level.

Sanctions of adults

Information on penalties, measures and pre-trial detention have been made available since 1984.

Convictions of juveniles

The annual figures for juvenile convictions. Detailed information is available on the laws and the individual offences since 1999.

Juveniles convicted

Information on age, sex and nationality have been presented per law and offence in detail since 1999. This statistical information are available at national and in almost all cases at cantonal level.

Sanctions for juveniles

Information on penalties and measures has been available since 1999.

Juveniles placed annually

All stays in an institution or in a penal institution since 2020.

Juveniles placed on reference day

Population of juveniles in placement under criminal law since 2010.

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Crime and Criminal Justice
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland

Contact

Remark

Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).

https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/crime-criminal-justice/criminal-justice.html