A total of 324 defendants, including 211 adults, were punished for using juveniles to commit crimes in Beijing in the past five years, the Beijing High People's Court said on Friday.
More than half of the convicts were sentenced to five years or more in prison, which is defined as felony under the Chinese Criminal Law, according to a statement of the court.
While some defendants took advantage of juveniles to commit property-related crimes, including robbery and blackmail, some also lured, organized or forced minors to indulge in prostitution, intentional injuries or drug trafficking, the statement said, adding about 30 percent of victims were also juveniles.
"The adult defendants committed crimes by making use of juveniles, because the youngsters were easier to be controlled and weaker to resist," said Lan Xiangdong, vice-president of the court. "Meanwhile, some minors followed and agreed to 'help' the adults, as they lacked legal awareness and social experience."
While announcing harsher punishments to the adult convicts, more than 280 judges began offering legal training or classes for students in more than 250 schools across the capital in the past five years, as a move to improve juveniles' self-protection awareness and law knowledge, Lan said.
Besides, courts citywide also worked with social organizations to provide care and psychological aid for those who were forced to commit the crimes, guiding them to get back on track, he added.