JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA
National University of Study and Research in Law.
I think it’s important for us as a society to remember that the youth within Juvenile Justice System are, most of the time, youths who simply haven’t had the right mentors and supporters around them because of the beyond their control.
Juvenile Delinquency is also known as Juvenile Offending. The word Delinquency has originated from a Latin word “delinquere” meaning of this word is “away and linquere” i.e. “to leave thus, mean by to leave or to abandon”. Juvenile is considered as a child who has not completed a specific age as mentioned in any the law of any country and does not bear resemblance as an adult person who can be made legally answerable for his criminal activities. There is a difference between a Juvenile and a Minor as in legal terms a minor is defined as an individual who has not attained the age of majority i.e. 18 years which is related to the legal capacity of a person whereas the term juvenile is referred to a young criminal offender. Recently juvenile delinquency has become an important aspect of criminology which includes theft, burglary, snatching and some of the heinous crime like murder and rape. In India the law named as Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2015 has introduced that the juvenile under the age group of 16 to 18 years should be tried as an adult. The deviant behavior of the juveniles has created social disorder and destruction as well as hampers the stability and social command of the society.
Juvenile Delinquency is unlawful conduct by minors and the conduct is characterized by antisocial behavior that is beyond the parental control and therefore subjected to legal action. The causes for the juvenile crime are usually found at each level of the social structure, including, society, social institution, social groups organization and interpersonal relation. The delinquent behavior of a child is socially not permitted in the society, Juvenile Delinquency is a behavioral disorder which is generally defined as “a child trying or pretending to act like a grown up or adult. According to W.H Sheldon delinquency is a “behavior disappointing beyond reasonable expectation” when a juvenile commits a crime, the procedure that takes place is different from those of adult offenders. In all the States juvenile court system and juvenile detention facilities deal specially with underage offenders.
Juvenile Delinquency is referred to children who exhibit a persistent behavior of mischievousness or disobedience so as to be considered out of parental control becoming subject to legal action by the court system. In generic terms, Juvenile Delinquency is a deviant child behavior i.e. when a young person (below the age of 18 years) gets involved in a criminal act; we call him as a Juvenile and the crime as Juvenile Delinquency. According to Walter Reckless (1957), the term juvenile delinquency applies to the violation of criminal code and pursuit of certain patterns of behavior disapproved of for children and young adolescents.
Juvenile Delinquent is often defined as children below the age of 18 years who has committed a criminal act. In legal terms a juvenile is defined as a child who is alleged to have committed certain acts or omission which is in violation of any law and are declared to be an offence.
CLASSIFICATION OF DELIQUENTS
Juvenile delinquents have been classified by different scholars on different basis as the scholars like Eaton and Polk (1969) have classified delinquents into groups according to the types of offence. The offence illustrated as:
· Minor violation (including disorderly conduct and the minor traffic violations)
· Major violation ( including automobiles thefts)
· Addiction( including alcoholism and drug addiction)
· Bodily harms (including homicide)
Hirsh (1937) has classified delinquents into six groups on the basis of kinds of offences committed:
· Incorrigibility, which includes keeping late hours, disobedience and so on.
· Truancy, which can be from home or school.
· Destruction of property, which includes both public and private property.
· Violence which is perpetrated against the community by using such means as knives and guns.
· Sex offences which can range from homosexual activity to criminal assault and rape.
CAUSES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
Every person has different behavioral pattern so as in case with children as soon as, a chi
ld grows up to come out to the real world, behavior pattern changes from time to time as the character of the child is molded by his environment children become delinquent by force of circumstances, hence, there are many circumstances or situation that may arose the delinquent behavior in them. Following are some of the situations that cause Juvenile delinquency:-
A child first line and protection is his family and for a full and harmonious development of their personality children should grow up in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.
The family is one of the primary agents for socialization of children because a child’s first experience with social life usually comes from within the family, hence a disintegration of family system may produce delinquent behavior in a child and some of the delinquent behavior can be studied in reference to:-
The school is called as a “second mother” for a child. Even so many of the juvenile misconduct occurs within or near the schools, misconduct in school ranges from discourtesy to teachers, vandalism, and assault and drug use and alcohol abuse. Most of the schools face some of the minor juvenile misconduct problem such as use of obscene language, cheating, lying, petty theft etc.
div class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="line-height: 150%;">Many scholars stressed that schools are especially important for producing delinquency in lower class youth, who lack commitment to educational goals and resultantly they fail and percentage of drop out increases. So the schools with the help of parents should provide better care and protection to their children.
iii. Instability in Adolescence Behavior
The sociological, biological and psychological factors are one of the most important factors in behavioral pattern of the adolescent. At this age adolescent wants their freedom and independent environment for themselves without any restriction and giving them the opportunity of freedom some of the adolescent tends to develop an anti- social behavior in them. The anti- social behavior of adolescence becomes the reason responsible for juvenile delinquency.
In sociology, a peer group is both a social group and primary group of people who has similar interest, age, background or social status. The members of this group are likely to influence the person’s belief and behavior. The habits of children and their friends such as stealing, smoking, gambling, consuming alcohol are generally found among peers.
Economic factor plays an important role in the cause of Juvenile delinquency. Unemployment increases poverty and resentment towards the society and generally poverty produce social condition which are conducive to criminality. Repeated rebuffs and disappointment in getting a job makes a man antisocial.
Migration of deserted and destitute boys to slums brings them in contact with the anti social element carrying on prostitution, smuggling of liquor or narcotic drugs and bootlegging. Slums area generally becomes the source of juvenile delinquency.
The children those who have experienced sexual assault, bulling or any other kind of physical assault in their early childhood may develop any kind of repulsiveness in their behavior and mind. The horrific incident of their childhood may lead towards the crime of kidnapping and rape.
Mass media leaves a greater impression on the minds of the children and adolescence. The advertisements showing the cheap recreational material, smoking, drinking, brutality creates a greater impact in the minds of the children and makes them anti social resulting in their delinquent behavior.
RISK FACTOR OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
Juvenile delinquency has become a serious problem for the society. When the behavior begins to become delinquent and includes stealing, substance abuse, defiance these behavior becomes a risk for both family and society as a whole. There are however, certain sign that a child might be headed in a wrong direction.
The predictors of juvenile delinquency may appear as early as preschool and often include:
· Abnormal or slow development of basic skills, such as speech and language.
· Chronic violation of rules.
· Serious aggressive behavior towards other students or teacher.
Studies have found that number of life circumstance constitute risk factors for a child to become a juvenile delinquent, while there are many and varied, the most common risk factor for juvenile delinquency includes:-
· Authoritarian parenting
· Low Socioeconomic status
· Poor school performance
· Frequent exposure to violence
· Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)
JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA
The constitution of India guarantees Fundamental Rights to all children in the country and empowers the state to make special provision for children. In last few decades, the crime rate by the children under the age of 16 years has increased. The reason for increasing crime rate may be due to the upbringing environment of the child or the economic conditions. The Directive Principles of State Policy specifically guide the state in securing the tender age of children from abuse and ensuring that the children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner in condition of freedom and dignity.
The Juvenile Justice System is based on the principle of promoting, protecting and safeguarding the rights of children. The Juvenile Justice, 1986 was enacted by the Indian Parliament in, 1986 and repealed the earlier Children Act, 1960. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2000, is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India, the act primarily focuses on the twin interrelated aspect of juvenile delinquency and handling of children in need of care and protection. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2000 was soon replaced by Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2015 had been passed by the Parliament of India and allows for juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18, involved in heinous offences to be tried in the court of law.
The claim of juvenility can also be raised before the court at any stage of proceeding and even after the disposal of the matter by the court. In the cases of KulaiIbrahim v. State of Coimbatore[i] the court observed that accused has the right to raise the question of juvenility at any point of time during the trial or even after the disposal of the case, under Section 9 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2015.
JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT, 1986
Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 was applied uniformly applied throughout India Expect State of Jammu and Kashmir. The act consisted of 63 sections, 7 chapters and the primary purpose of the act was to provide care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the neglected juvenile delinquent. In 1989, the General assembly of United Nation adopted a convention on the rights of child o 20 November, 1989. The Convention stated that to protect the social reintegration of the juvenile there shall be no judicial proceeding or a court trial against them. The convention result in repealing of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 by the Indian Legislation and a new act was introduced which was named as Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2000.
JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT (Care and Protection of Children) 2000
The objective of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) 2000 is to consolidate and amend the laws relating to juveniles in the conflict with law and children in need of care and protection , by providing for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs and by adopting a child friendly approach in adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of
children and for their ultimate rehabilitation through various institution established under this enactment. Later on there were two amendments in this act the first amendment was on 2006 and the second amendment was on 2011. The amendments were made to address the gap and loopholes of the act. Later the act was replaced by Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2015.
There were two major drawbacks of the act:-
1. The frightful incident of “Delhi Gang Rape Case” where one of the accused who brutalized the young girl, was a minor of 17 years, this frightful incident forced the law makers to come up with a new law.
2. The detention of a child which in spite of protecting the child from committing a crime, influences and inspires a child for committing a crime.
JUVENILE JUSTICE (Care and of Children) 2015
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) 2015 had been passed by the Parliament of India and allows for juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18, involved in heinous offences to be tried in the court of law. The act seeks to achieve the objective of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Children as ratified by India on December 11, 1992. It specifies procedural safeguard in cases of children in conflict with law. The key provision of the Act is:-
· Change in nomenclature from ‘juvenile’ to ‘child’ or ‘child in conflict with law’, across the Act to remove the negative connotation associated with the word “juvenile”.
· Inclusion of several new definitions such as orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children; and petty, serious and heinous offences committed by children.
· Special provisions for heinous offences committed by children above the age of sixteen years.
· Separate new chapter on Adoption to streamline adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children.
· Inclusion of new offences committed against children.
· Penalties for cruelty against a child, offering a narcotic substance to a child, and abduction or selling a child have been prescribed. Any official, who does not report an abandoned or orphaned child within 24 hours, is liable to imprisonment up to six months or fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
· Mandatory registration of Child Care Institutions.
· Several rehabilitation and social reintegration measures have been provided for children in conflict with law and those in need of care and protection. Under the institutional care, children are provided with various services including education, health, nutrition, de-addiction, treatment of diseases, vocational training, skill development, life skill education, counseling ,etc to help them to assume a constructive role in the society.
PREVENTING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
The programs based on teaching children about the effects of drugs, gangs, sex and education should be encouraged. Educational s programs should be promoted which provide youth with awareness that their action has some consequences. This educational SEZ program encourages hope and opens up opportunity for young ones.
Involvement in community groups and providing with an opportunity to interact in safe social environment will prevent children from developing delinquent behavior.
Creating a Stable and Safe Environment
Creating a stable and safe environment is very necessary for a child mental and physical development so to create such an environment parents and school administration should keep a check on preventing bulling in schools and should encourage the child to participate in extracurricular activities and community development programs for the overall growth of the child.
Juvenile Delinquency is the unlawful conduct by the minors and the conduct is categorized by the antisocial behavior of the minor. The increasing rate of juvenile crime is the major concern for the world as well as India. The present laws in India have not accomplished the desired result. With the introduction of the more strict laws there should also be prevention programs that will help the children to overcome from his delinquent behavior.