How is leadership abused or abused

Federal Central Register: Child abuse in a certificate of good conduct for life?


Baden-Württemberg wants sexual crimes against minors no longer to be deleted from the federal central register. A corresponding law is in the Federal Council. A logical step or political actionism?

The scenario is a horror for many: A convicted of the sexual abuse of minors is allowed to work with children again in a school, kindergarten or afternoon care - and neither parents nor superiors know anything about it. Shouldn't "someone like that" never again have work to do with children?

The answer will be obvious to many parents and educators, but the legal situation is complex. In principle, the following applies: Whoever is convicted of an act, then serves a sentence to settle his debt and has thus made his peace with the legal order. However, it is not the case that a criminal judgment is immediately forgotten once the perpetrator has served his sentence: All criminal convictions are stored in the Federal Central Register (BZR).

The only consequence of such an entry is that the conviction remains internally stored by the authorities. However, on the basis of the BZR, the certificates of good conduct, which employers can request before hiring, are also created. In addition, various authorities, courts and the bar associations can view the BZR entries in certain cases.

In order to avoid a lifelong stigma and to take into account the aim of rehabilitation, the entries are deleted after a certain period, which depends on the type and gravity of the offense. Only convictions to life imprisonment or the placement in preventive detention or in a psychiatric hospital are saved for a lifetime. The entries from the BZR are also only included in the certificate of good conduct for a limited time, although separate periods of between three and ten years apply. After this time, a conviction entered in the BZR will no longer be included in the certificate of good conduct. From this point on, the perpetrator may again call himself without a criminal record.

Do not delete sexual offenses against minors anymore

The state government in Baden-Württemberg now wants to tighten this regulation with a view to a group of perpetrators that traditionally has a particularly poor stand in the public discussion: For sexual offenses against minors, some repayment periods are no longer applicable in the future, according to a draft law from Guido Wolf ( CDU) led Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Justice.

The entry in the BZR and that in the so-called extended certificate of good conduct should therefore remain in place for a lifetime. Employers can request the extended certificate of good conduct if the person concerned wants to take up training or care work or a comparable function in dealing with minors. Introduced in 2010, it is intended to provide care facilities for the protection of children and young people with more information about their supervisors.

The current legal situation is: If you are convicted of more serious sexual offenses and imprisonment for at least one year, the admission period for both the simple and the extended certificate of good conduct is ten years. The convictions are stored in the BZR for up to 20 years. Convictions for special offenses such as the distribution of child pornography for at least one year are usually disregarded in the normal certificate of good conduct after five years; in the extended certificate, they are also recorded for ten years.

Enforce the employment ban for sex offenders in youth welfare

In addition to the extended certificate of good conduct, the legislature has recently taken another measure to protect children and young people from sex offenders. With effect from January 1, 2012, the new version of Section 72a of the Eighth Book of the Social Code (SGB VIII) came into force, which provides for an "exclusion from the activity of relevant previously convicted persons". According to this, public institutions are not allowed to employ persons in youth welfare who have a previous conviction for certain criminal offenses against minors.

To do this, they must request simple and extended certificates of good conduct before hiring and at regular intervals thereafter. The law does not have a deadline for exclusion from employment, but in practice it does: If the entries have been deleted, the responsible body can no longer understand a relevant previous punishment.

This legal situation, so it says in the Baden-Württemberg draft law, "has the consequence that because of sexual offenses to the detriment of children and adolescents it is currently possible to have professional and voluntary supervision, care or upbringing of people just a few years after the conviction To pursue children and young people (...). " The endangerment of minors through such close and unsupervised contact with convicted sex offenders is "unacceptable and should be avoided in order to protect minors." So is the legislative initiative only a logical step to correct an evident inaccuracy?

The sex offender cliché often does not apply

What may seem sensible at first glance turns out to be no longer so conclusive on the second, says Kevin Franzke. He is a research assistant at the criminological seminar at the University of Bonn and in his dissertation he has a. empirically dealt with sexual offenses against minors. The sexual abuse of children is - contrary to public perception - not necessarily related to pedophilia, says Franzke: "According to estimates, pedophile tendencies are likely to play a role in at most a third of all cases. The remaining cases are so-called substitute acts often related to social decline and general violent crime. " In addition, one must also take into account the strikingly large group of young accused and often adolescents with severe developmental retardation.

The fact that not all cases condemned as sexual offenses follow the cliché of the pedophile sex offender is shown, for example, by the case of a 14-year-old who caused sexual abuse of children because of a hickey that he mutually caused on the neck of his 13-year-old classmate has been convicted. The case gained notoriety because the boy resisted the submission of a DNA sample to the Federal Constitutional Court - ultimately successfully. In the case of sexual contact with children, according to the current legal situation, it makes no difference in terms of criminal liability whether this is consensual, just as little as the age of the offender, as long as he is criminally responsible.

The widespread assumption that perpetrators of the sexual abuse of children would frequently relapse cannot be held up against the empirical background, Franzke points out.
Franzke also points out the "considerably divergent injustice content" of Sections 176, 176 a, 176b and 184b of the Criminal Code, all of which are covered by the draft law: "Does someone who kill a child through abuse actually deserve the same treatment in terms of register law as someone who exhibits in front of a child or who searches the Internet once for child pornography out of misguided curiosity and possibly fails? "

For Franzke, too, there is no question that lifelong exclusion from activities in youth welfare can be justified in the case of serious crimes, as he emphasizes. However, further regulations are "neither necessary nor proportionate in the proposed approach based on the 'watering can principle' and their massive stigmatizing effect could quickly prove to be the opposite of the desired prevention." In addition, there has been no statistical increase in the number of such offenses in the recent past.

Ministry of Justice: Other professions not affected

According to the current legal situation, however, a "clean" extended certificate of good conduct would, in case of doubt, require that a perpetrator would not have appeared relevant for ten years. So why the tightening that Baden-Württemberg is now striving for? According to the Ministry of Justice, the gravity of the offense is not decisive. After all, it is not about sanctioning crimes that have been committed, but about preventing future crimes.

The case is clear to the ministry: "The convictions for sexual offenses to the detriment of children show that the convict had a sexual interest in children, even if this was partially - possibly not yet - manifested in the real abuse of a child by the convicted himself ", so press spokesman Robert Schray opposite LTO. Minors are to be "permanently protected from close and unsupervised contact with these perpetrators".

He emphasizes that one does not want to give up the rehabilitation of the perpetrators. It is guaranteed by the fact that the convictions are only permanently included in the extended certificate of good conduct, which only a limited group of employers can request. The convicted sex offenders would therefore not be adversely affected in their other professional advancement. However, the regulation would already be applicable to caretakers in schools or pool attendants, criticizes Franzke. The encroachment on the freedom of occupation thus weighs quite a bit.

The Baden-Württemberg draft law was introduced to the Federal Council by the state government in mid-December. The initiative has already found support at the national level. According to the Ministry of Justice, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland have already joined. Further approval is now being sought. The next step is deliberation in the Federal Council's committees.