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A GLIMPSE ON SOCIAL REINTEGRATION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

By

  1. Shantha Roopini B, BBA.LLB(Hons), from The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai.

  2. Sathyadevi J, BBA.LLB(Hons), from The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai.

ABSTRACT

Society hatch transgression, the juveniles commit it. Factors such as family separation, verbal and physical abuse at home, truancy, and violent behaviour from peer groups are the main causes to hit. Thus the liability to an extent falls at the foot of society in bringing back to a peaceful nation. Juvenile delinquency started with minor crimes, whereas nowadays it moves to grave offences. It is a great misconception that every step has to be taken by the judiciary for the reformation of delinquent children.


The United Nations Guidelines for Prevention of Juvenile delinquency, 1990 have also enshrined as one of the fundamental principles that efforts of the entire society are necessary cial control which is required to ensure harmonious development of the adolescent. It is evident from The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 that the judiciary and legislature have already paved its way to reintegrate the delinquent children into the society, and it is also the duty of every citizen to ensure the welfare of the human community by eliminating the maladjustments as today’s youngsters become tomorrow’s successful society.


Therefore we have taken efforts to discuss some of the measures which include parental education and counselling, psychiatric counselling for children, youth mentoring programmes, emotional support, recreational programmes, community integration, mental hygiene, educational curriculum and activities as a part of social control in our paper.


KEYWORDS: crime, factors, social control, juvenile, maladjustment.


INTRODUCTION

Juvenile delinquency is solicitude throughout the world. Delinquency refers to unlawful act committed by young offenders, the consequence of which results in abnormal behavioural changes. It often corresponds to social deviance. Social deviance means the deviation from the social norms or values of the society. Generally the acts that is immoral to the society. The causation can be traced from sociological and psychological factors such as lack of interactions with adult, economic and school problems that is the reason why juvenile court aims at reformation rather than punishing the juvenile offenders.


The evolution of the juvenile legislations can be traced back to the Apprentice Act, 1850 where the convicted children for petty offences were ordered to work as apprentices for businessmen, The Reformatory Schools Act, 1897 in which the delinquents were detained to the reformatory schools, however on attaining age of majority where sent to adult prisons, The children’s Act, 1960 and further many states had its own legislations which had contradicting age groups for defining juveniles. In SheelaBarse–Vs- Union of India, it was observed that a National level uniform juvenile laws is necessary and, finally, upon the judgement of which the parliament enacted a national legislation known as the juvenile justice Act, 1987, repealing all other juvenile laws.


The juvenile justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 came into force via an amendment for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency. The present Act has a greater effect after Nirbhaya gang rape case where the juveniles committing heinous offences are treated as adults and tried by children’s court. The various reformatory measures taken by judiciary as well as the social control measures are being briefly discussed in this paper.


DELINQUENT BEHAVIOUR

According to Matza, a delinquent behaviour is the drift caused due to the loosening of social control, “freeing the delinquent to respond to whatever conventional or criminal forces happen to come along”.


Travis Hirshi’s social control theory states that when the bond between individual and society decreases, criminal act is said to be committed. He suggests four elements of social bond, namely, attachment, involvement, commitment and belief. The delinquent behaviour is discovered when the above-mentioned elements of social bond are washed out by an individual towards this society.


STATISTICAL ANALYSIS ON CRIME BY JUVENILES

All over the country the number of crimes committed by juveniles in 2017 was 33,606, out of which educated juveniles were more in number. In 2018, 31,591 crimes were committed by juveniles in conflict with law. The number grew to 32,235 crimes in 2019.


INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL CONTROL AS A PREVENTIVE STEP

As there is well-known saying ‘The crop is visible in the sprout’, the prevention plays a vital role.


INDIVIDUAL PROGRAMMES

It is not only the responsibility of the state but also the duty of every individual to safeguard him from antisocial activities.


  • CLINICAL PROGRAMME

The object of psychiatric aids through psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and psychiatric social workers is to help potential delinquents by understanding their personality problems and, thereafter, treating and counselling them at appropriate times.Taft and England listed the functions of psychiatric as follows


To participate in the discovery of “pre-delinquents“.


To investigate cases for study and treatment.


To treat cases itself or to refer cases to other agencies for treatment.


To arouse interest of other agencies in the psychiatrically oriented types of treatment of behavioural disorders in children.


To reveal to the community unmet needs of types of children.


In some communities, to engage in behavioural research.


To cooperate in the training of the students intending to specialize in treatment of behavioural problems.


  • EDUCATIONAL CURRICULAM ACTIVITIES

Educated juveniles were more in number when compared to illiterate as precisely stated by the National crime record bureau. Therefore education shall be inculcated in the form of moral education. Teacher shall not discriminate among children and shall treat everyone equally. The Teachers, on the other hand, should have supervision over the children. The educational curriculum shall be in such a way to emphasis the concept of prevention of delinquency to children.


  • PARENT EDUCATION

Parent’s intervention is most important for juveniles in all aspects. Parental education is necessary for ensuring good homes, improving family relationships, and for good interaction between parents and children.


  • RECREATIONAL PROGRAMMES

Recreation activities play a vital role in preventing juvenile delinquency. Since it is said that “empty mind is a devil workshop”, children should effectively get involved in activities such as sports, singing, music, dancing, karate, art, rock climbing etc. Delinquents are often seen disconnected with the society, these activities create an opportunity for them to get involved and acquire a good relationship in turn.


  • REMOVAL OF INFERIORITY COMPLEX

Inferiority complex is disadvantageous to children both personally and socially. This is one of the factors that instigate a child to commit an immoral act as a result of unreasonably trying to prove him.


  • ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMMES

Youngster’s participation in rehabilitating the juvenile offenders creates a great impact in reintegrating the delinquents. Generally environmental programmes carve better sociological surroundings for children’s growth.

  • COMMUNITY PROGRAMME

Community programmes is to be provided for individuals and families. Active voluntary participation is essential to improve community programmes. The aim of this programme is to reach the people who are in need of help. Community programme is based on residential and non-residential programmes. Residential community programme includes general group homes and shelter care. This is known as intermediate services. Non-residential community programmes include youth tracking service, traditional counselling, and home counselling.

If there is a good relationship between Non-governmental Organisations and government, the community programme would exist in an effective manner.

  • PUBLICATIONS

Televisions, radio, newspaper, magazines shall publish efficient preventive measures on delinquency and create awareness so that children’s focus is not deviated.

  • PARENTAL CARE AND AFFECTION

In earlier days the affection between parents and children was unconditional, whereas nowadays it is not so. Social media has stolen the time of parents and children, where developing a gap between them. Adolescence essentially needs to be monitored by their parents because adolescences lack impulse control which is a contributing factor to the causation of crime.

  • FAMILY ATMOSPHERE

Family is a functional unit of the society. Every individual acquires discipline, moral rules, ethics, behavioural pattern, patience and humanity from their family. The NCRB also mentioned that the juveniles who are homeless have committed more crimes. Lesser the attachment of children with their parents, the chances of becoming prone to delinquency are greater.


COMPARATIVE STUDY ON REHABILITION IN THAILAND, U.K. AND SOUTH AFRICA

Many countries around the world follow the process of only rehabilitation rather than convicting the juveniles and treat them as innocent.


  • THAILAND

They started imposing rehabilitation wholly when the crime rate has drastically increased from 2003 to 2007. The various rehabilitation mechanisms are summarized as follows:


When a juvenile is arrested, he is detained in the observation and protection centre and inquiry is conducted in the presence of their parents, public prosecutors, psychologist, and social workers and is completed within 24 hours. They don’t have separate juvenile laws; the judgment pronounced by the judge is final and binding. Generally crimes committed by juveniles both of violent and non-violent nature are treated equally and provided same treatment as well as training programmes.


Training schools: there are around 17 training schools across the country. Juveniles are admitted in training schools for reformation. Their initiative includes character formation, education, regular guidance and personal appearance. The training also consists of general and special disciplines.


Vocational training: this type of schools emphasize work-related attitude and skills.


Drug addict treatment centre: it gives treatment to the juveniles addicted to drugs.


Juveniles who violated the law were not regarded as offenders or delinquent and were only characterised as victimized by a corrupted environment. These practices led to the result of minimized juvenile crimes.


  • UNITED KINGDOM

Delinquents aged between 12 to 17 years are placed under detention and a training order that may last from 4 months to 2 years. The offenders spend their time half in detention and half in community. The delinquents are not placed in prison but in a special training order, children’s home or young offender’s institution for reformation.


  • SOUTH AFRICA

There is effective community based treatment for juvenile offenders to reintegrate them into the society. In South Africa there is a good relationship between government and non- governmental organisations in providing community based treatment services, but their problem is that the accessibility is only in urban and not in rural areas. The NGO’s are showing utmost interest in reintegrating the juvenile offenders. Government also supports along with NGO’S to render a public service.


SUGGESTIONS

Labelling the juvenile offenders as deviant or delinquent may be undesirable. They may feel discriminated from the society, instead, it is favourable to approach them in a friendly or formal social manner. Funds are necessary for organising various programs and training, it is suggested that government may raise the revenue for this purpose by levying tax from all individuals in the country. Community participation is most important in reintegrating the juvenile offenders.


Violent juvenile offenders are to be supervised with special care during the rehabilitation process. They might have emotionally attached reasons for committing crime. Hence, they are to be trained with more interpersonal skills. The juveniles under rehabilitation are to be guaranteed with a minimum of UG degree because when they acquire knowledge through education, it changes their state of mind.


CONCLUSION

Juvenile delinquency is a vulnerable risk. Effective reformation is the one and only remedy to secure the society as youth constitutes a powerful community. Though the juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 provides a separate chapter for rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles, it lack of adequate implementation. As we have seen, Thailand by its rehabilitation was able to reduce the juvenile crime rate, it is even possible in India. Family love and interaction is pivotal in preventing the delinquency.


While many countries follow restorative justice, India can also implement it which may contribute as an element in reducing the number of crimes. We finally conclude that when a provision as to participation of citizens in social control is incorporated as one of the fundamental duties in our Constitution, it would best serve the society.