Juvenile Delinquency : When Children become Criminals

Juvenile delinquency is on the rise in India
Anam Siddiqi
Written by Anam Siddiqi

In recent years, the rate of juvenile crimes in India has increased rapidly in India . Also, children often commit the most heinous of the crimes like murder, rape, burglary, theft and kidnapping! What can be the reason behind this trend?

What is Juvenile Delinquency?

First of all, juvenile delinquency refers to the violation of criminal code and indulging in certain patterns of behavior (commitment of crime or offenses) not approved for children. Furthermore, this particularly refers to children below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible.

What can cause Juvenile Delinquency?

There are numerous causes for delinquent behavior, such as :-

  1. Poverty
  2. Broken homes,
  3. Adolescent instability
  4. Parental neglect
  5. Isolation
  6. Aggression
  7. Movies
  8. Mental disorders and
  9. An inability to delay gratification

Moreover, children learn various behavioral patterns from vicarious experiences. In this regard movies and television plays a major part. A research by K.D Sikka stated that films and programs depicting superstition, violence or vulgarity could induce delinquent behavior in children. Thus, parents or caregivers need to control and supervise the content their child watches.

In addition, as John Locke mentioned, “child’s mind is a blank slate”. This is the concept of “tabula rasa.” In other words, a child is an uncut diamond; the society and family are responsible for its development. So if caregivers treat a child with adequate care, fulfill his basic needs and don’t let the child involve in bad company, the chances of indulging in delinquent behavior become negligible.

Juvenile delinquency can be corrected.

What’s the current rate of Juvenile Delinquency in India?

Several researches prove that one juvenile is arrested on the charge of rape every four hours on an average in India. Additionally, the Union Home Ministry’s latest data revealed that between January 1 and December 31, 2016, some 2054 juveniles were arrested for rape (one every 4.2 hours to be exact) . Also, as many as 1627 children were arrested for assaulting women or outraging women’s modesty.

From Damini’s case (16 December 2012) to Ryan’s International murder case (8 September 2017) and many others that go unreported, there is a call for helping the whole society to be in charge for the guidance and constructive molding of future generations. Sometimes,  a single juvenile delinquent is admitted twice or thrice to the same rehabilitation center or psychiatric care for the same behavior. Probably, the cause for this might be improper rehabilitation facilities. Moreover,  the delinquent might be returning to the same surrounding or family environment which gave rise to their unwanted behavior in the first place. Such family environments include:-

  1. Broken homes
  2. Familial conflicts and
  3. A problem-causing group of friends(as stated by Juvenile Justice Board).

Conclusion

We conclude by saying that we cannot eradicate this menace. Nevertheless, we can develop stringent measures to prevent its manifestation. With the Juvenile Justice Act working on the issue, we as a society should come up with reformative methods to impart moral values to children that enrich them. This will also give them a chance to mold themselves constructively. A few steps we can take for the positive development of youngsters are:-

  • Mentoring programs
  • Conflict resolution
  • Violence prevention programs
  • After-school recreational programs
  • Comprehensive community programs

Similarly, counseling and psychotherapy is of great help to children for their positive development. It can also be of help to children who are dealing with certain behavioral disorder, mental illness or psychological problem. Lastly, it is very helpful to children who are undergoing rehabilitation. If you know any child who is facing any of the aforementioned problems, help them by contacting counselors from Mind Solace.

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Anam Siddiqi

Anam Siddiqi

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