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An Essay on Juvenile Crime

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❶But since delinquency is a very complex problem being caused by multifarious factors, it is difficult, though not impossible, to control it and prevent it.

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Poverty compels sometimes both of the parents to be outside the home for a very long period to earn their daily bread. The children will be uncared for. This mostly happens in slum areas and areas in which mostly working class people live. It is said that some areas are highly vulnerable to delinquent trends. Long ago Burt in his study showed that there are certain areas in London from which the majority of delinquent children come.

It is true that when a family is living in the heart of the town the chances are greater for the children of such families to pick up delinquent behaviour. It is to be noted that not all the children living in the delinquent areas are delinquents. As the child grows older he goes into the neighbourhood and becomes a member of the playgroup or peer group. If by chance he joins the group or the gang that fosters delinquent attitudes he is also likely to become a delinquent.

In fact, much delinquency springs up from the prevalent attitudes in the groups within which the youth has immediate contacts. Generally the gang starts as a playgroup. In the absence of playground facilities, the children will start playing in streets and finally organise themselves into gangs.

The gang has all the qualities of an in group such as loyalty, cooperation, social solidarity and unity. These gangs are found to be associated with crime in all its aspects like delinquency, rioting, corrupt politics, and so on.

Children coming from poor families and broken families easily become the victims of gangs. Due to bad companionship also offences are committed by the adolescents. Studies have shown that delinquent acts are done in company. In his Illinois Crime Survey of Shaw analysed boys were involved in the crime.

It cannot, however, be presumed that mere companionship by itself causes delinquency. Beggary is often the cause of juvenile delinquency. One feels hungry, it is a biogenic need but how to satisfy these hunger need and where to ask for food is determined by socialization process. He is taught only to ask for food at his own house. This is a case of biological motive being influenced by socialization process. Most of our needs and motives, attitudes and aspirations regarding food, dress, style of living are determined by our cultural values and norms of the society.

The process of socialization puts a strong stamp mark on the behaviour of an individual in the society. Though, mainly boys are involved in delinquency, now a days it is found that girls are also actively engaged in this antisocial work.

During these 20 years delinquency has further increased. One may not believe, but it is true that almost half of the serious crimes in U. Common delinquent acts in females are sexual offences, small thefts, drug usage, running away from home etc.

Among the males delinquents are more engaged in stealing, drug usage, robbery, aggravated assaults, sexual abuses etc. Particularly, now a days, the incidence of delinquency is increasing alarmingly in large metropolitan cities and this has become a matter of great concern for the public and country.

While evidences from some studies show that children from lower class families and those residing in slum areas are more engaged in delinquency, other studies do not support this view. In an important study, Heary and Gold found significant relationship between social status and delinquent behaviour. In another significant study, it was noticed that the rate of delinquency in case of socially disadvantaged youths appears about equal for whites and non-whites.

Like any other country, as reports of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt, of India, shows, there is a steady rise in the percentage of delinquency in India. While it was 16, in , it was, 40, in Thus, in 13 years the increase in the incidence of delinquency, as reports show, has the highest percentage of Juvenile crimes Second place goes to M.

Kerala has an incidence rate of only 0. Delinquents lack ethical standards and emotional ties. They are very impulsive and indulge in acts at the spur of the moment. They are socially insensitive and lack guilt feeling. Delinquents, inspite of their socially unacceptable behaviours, created difficulties for the self as well as for others.

Considered as a learned behaviour, delinquency was found to be highly correlated with low life styles with lack of recreational facilities and lack of permanent residence. B General socio-cultural factors indulging family pattern and interaction, delinquent gang and subculture.

No social factors alone-can contribute to the causation of delinquency though social and cultural factors contribute their share to delinquency. Personality characteristics and individual factors also contribute a lot to the causation of delinquency.

As per the reports of Caputo and Mandell , Kiestor in about one per cent of the delinquents brain damage leads to lower inhibitory controls and a tendency to show violent behaviour. Large number of persistent delinquents have been found to possess the traits and characteristics of antisocial and psychopathic personalities.

They seem to be quite impulsive, callus, and socially insensitive, they do not have the feelings of sorrow, guilt and repentance. They are not able to establish suitable interpersonal relationship and they do not learn anything from experience in a constructive way. The persistent delinquents also do not seem to have any reality control or inner conscience or morality. So, they indulge in whatever they wish, which give them pleasure and satisfy their ego with assessing its impact upon the society and their final consequence.

For example, they may steal a very little money actually they do not need or they may steal a scooter, a car or snatch a golden chain without any need or necessity. Just to fulfil their aggressive and sadistic tendency they may drive their car to a small distance, break some parts of the car and leave it there.

They just want to satisfy their destructive tendency, which gives them pleasure. Many psychopathic delinquents are found to cut the brand new cushions in theaters and movie halls. This author has also observed many delinquents of years age who are in the habit of breaking the electric bulb in every lamp post on the road without any reason, in the presence of other people in broad day light. They just did not care, use abusive language and again repeat their aggressive behaviour with more vigour.

Actually, the delinquents do not involve themselves in such nuisance for personal gain, but it really reflects their underlying resentment and hostility towards the outer world, the world for which they have no feeling of involvement or belongingness. There are others who just move around in a gang aimlessly and get pleasure in eve teasing, in passing filthy remarks whenever a member of the fair sex passes by. Such people are really at the mercy of their uncontrolled, uninhibited impulses.

It would be interesting to note that currently the incidence of psychopathic personality in female delinquents has increased quite rapidly as reports suggest.

Fine and Fishman conducted a study on girls in a State Correctional Institution in Kentuky to know their general personality characteristics. They found rebelliousness, inadequacy, impulsiveness, instability and immature characteristics commonly found in the psychopathic personality. It was also found by Ganzer and Sarason that females more frequently come from personally and socially disorganised families than did males. The theories of both sheldon and Eysenck stress genetic aspects along with environmental aspects to explain delinquent behaviour.

Quite a large number of delinquents particularly those who are engaged in theft, prostitution and physical assault are found to be addicted to drugs, like heroin, secobarbital and alcohol. Drug addicted females are usually engaged in stealing and prostitution. Various studies have been conducted to find out the relationship between intelligence and delinquent behaviour to solve the controversy whether delinquency is environmental or genetic.

Long ago, an Italian Scientist Lumbroso made certain empirical studies on crime, and held that criminals have defective physical structure and defective intelligence. Therefore, various steps have been taken to measure the I.

The study conducted by Healy, Burt and others have demonstrated clearly that delinquents are not mental defectives. But, nevertheless, the average intelligence of the delinquent group is lower than the average intelligence of the normal group. It is also found that compared to the normal children a larger proportion of mental defectives are found in the Juvenile group. Various investigators have reported different percentage of average I.

Healy and Bronner found it to be 90, Burt found it to be 85, Merril found it to be The above data of different investigators reveal that the average intelligence of delinquents happen to be lower than the average I. These data also give clear signal that the Juvenile delinquents as a group, at large, are not mentally defective though they are below average. Such people have no foresight to the consequences and significance of their action. That is why, they commit various impulsive behaviour, like small aggressive acts, petty stealing and various other sexual offences.

Even more intelligent psychopaths and gangs exploit them and include them in their group. In some cases, mental retardation is associated with serious brain damage and leads to a combination of features of both the organic and the mentally retarded delinquents.

The above facts lead one to conclude that Juvenile delinquents differ from normal persons in degree and not in kind so far, as their I. Hence, Juvenile delinquents cannot be looked upon as a group of mental defectives. Some other studies also show that below 70 I. But in the delinquent groups there are 12 to 15 per cent mental defectives.

Thus, the number of mentally defective children among the delinquents is about times larger than in a normal population says Kupuswamy. Uday Sankar conducted a study the mental ability of the delinquents and found that the proportions of mentally defective children is very high among the Juvenile delinquents he has studied. Merril made a comparative study of the average intelligence of the delinquents and non-delinquents. It was found that the average intelligence of juvenile delinquents from socially and economically handicapped group is low.

While those coming from higher socio economic groups was higher. The average intelligence of children from the non- delinquent, but lower groups is also low. Merril took a controlled group and an experimental group, each group with boys and girls.

In the experimental group, the boys and girls were delinquents while in the control group they were non-delinquents. The socio-economic status of both the groups were kept constant. Results showed that while the average I. The results, thus, did not show any significant difference between the I. So, Merril held that it is not justified to assume that larger proportion of the delinquents have lower I.

However, it is possible that the higher I. In case, they are caught by the police, the intelligent juveniles escape while the less intelligent juveniles arc trapped. Such incidents are not rare in our society. The innocent ones are caught easily because of their lack of understanding and lack of capacity to solve the immediate problems facing them.

About 3 to 5 per cent of delinquent behaviour, seems to be directly associated with psychoneurotic disorders. Here, the delinquent act is mainly tinged with compulsive behaviour, such as stealing things which one actually does not need, or compelled to do. He will not be stable and remain at peace unless he does these acts. This type of compulsive acts also lead to sexual deviant behaviour because of the sexual restrictions and beliefs that masturbation and other forms of overt sexual behaviour are very much undesirable and a sin.

In a limited number of cases, i. Then, there is an explosive outburst of violent behaviour like volcanic eruption. Here, the delinquent act is the function of terrible personality, maladjustment and disturbances rather than a consistent antisocial orientation.

Delinquency as an antisocial personality is the function of certain pathological and ill developed social environment. Wrong handling and faulty upbringing of the child lead to several emotional problems in the child. Various observations, case histories and interviews have indicated that quite a high percentage of the delinquents displayed emotional disturbances.

Feeling of inadequacy, inferiority etc. The feeling of insecurity, rejection of the parents and other members of the family were next important factors causing delinquent behaviour. Disharmony and problems of discipline were found in one third of the delinquents.

Quite a number of them also expressed sibling rivalry and jealousy. All these data lead to show that various emotional problems like insecurity, inferiority, jealousy, feeling of being neglected and let down were very common among the delinquent children. The need for recognition and resentment against the sense of insecurity provides enough scope for a person to be delinquent.

Rebellious feeling in oneself makes one antisocial and delinquent. Because of these emotional problems which are created by dehumanised social conditions the person becomes a delinquent and tries to take action, against others. It is a fact that by their antisocial, sadistic and aggressive action they try to get pleasure and mental satisfaction. Because of their emotional problems, they should be considered as maladjusted personalities and not as peculiar human beings, who differ from other human beings not in degree but in kind.

They should not be considered as abnormal human beings. Their needs and desires are very much normal, but they have become so because of faulty family upbringing.

They become hostile and aggressive because they feel threatened and insecured. He is not able to control his impulsive needs. In his case neither realistic considerations, nor moral considerations operate to check his impulsive actions.

Stott holds that delinquent breaks down is an escape from emotional situation which for the particular individual with the various conditioning of his background becomes almost temporarily invariable.

When the parents or one of them use rigid discipline, it increases hostility in the child. Because of rigid discipline all his wishes and desires are suppressed and restrained.

This leads to the development of an antisocial, rebellious and hostile personality in the growing child. By constant suppression of desires the child never feels free and clear. Conflicting views of parents and teachers regarding discipline also contribute. If the child rearing practices are faulty and are based on rigid, dictatorial principles, if the child is always left to cry and cry, if the child is not handled with due love and affection, if the discipline is harsh, inconsistent and irrational, his suppressed and repressed aggression is vented through anti-social and delinquent behaviour.

Prolonged parental deprivation particularly at the early age of life, between years is extremely adverse for the normal personality development of the child. The affectionless and loveless life due to proper parenting and judicious child rearing practices lead to several maladjustments and in some cases juvenile delinquency. Bowlby compared 44 children who committed various thefts and hence were kept in the London child Guidance Clinic for treatment with 44 normal children of the same age and Socio-economic status, who came to the clinic for treatment but who did not steal.

But in the control group only 02 were separated from their mothers. But there are other factors besides parental deprivation which influence the development of delinquency. Stott is of opinion that security, affection, love and proper attention from the parents are basically required for the proper growth of personality of the child. Those children who do not get this from their parents become susceptible to delinquency.

By becoming delinquents they try to get attention from their parents. Further they with an attitude of revolt try to teach their parents a lesson. Some also become vindictive and develop antisocial, reactionary, negative behaviour. They get sadistic satisfaction by giving pain to their parents and causing them worry. They get pleasure by seeing them suffering. Lower socio-economic status parents usually remain absent from home for earning their bread. Both the father and mother work from morning to evening outside.

So the child is deprived from parental care and is neglected. They also cannot provide a baby sister to take care of the baby because of their poverty. Since the parents of low S. To add to this the school going children do not get scope for going to good school for their educational and social development. All these factors either separately or in combination pave the way for delinquency.

Studies show that children coming from broken homes, where parents are separated or divorced, lead to delinquent behaviour, than those children coining from broken homes where the home is broken by the death of the parents or one of the parents. In Western countries, where separation and divorce of parents are more common, this is a major cause of delinquency. But in India, though currently separation and divorce cases are increasing day by day, they are not so rampant like their Western counterparts and hence, is not a major cause of delinquency.

In a study of institutionalized delinquents in the State of Colorado, Barker and Adams found that only about one-third of the boys and girls come from complete home setting, i. If the nature of the acts committed by minors is serious enough to be tried under adult laws, this is the course of action that should be taken. Even minors are clearly capable of understanding the law and their obligations to comply with it.

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Essay # 1. Introduction to Juvenile Delinquency: Delinquency has always been considered as a social problem over and above the fact that it is a legal problem.

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