After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning and Definition of Juvenile Delinquency 2. Psychological Definition of Juvenile Delinquency 3. Difference between Crime and Juvenile Delinquent 4. Incidence of Delinquency 5. Incidence of Delinquency in India 6. Characteristics of Delinquency 7. Types of Delinquency and Other Details.
List of Essays on Juvenile Delinquency in India
- Essay on the Meaning and Definition of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Psychological Definition of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Difference between Crime and Juvenile Delinquent
- Essay on the Incidence of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Incidence of Juvenile Delinquency in India
- Essay on the Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Types of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Methods for Detecting Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Causes of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Sociocultural Factors of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the The Situational and Environmental Factors of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Individual, Psychological and Personality Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquency
- Essay on the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Juvenile Delinquency
1. Essay on the Meaning and Definition of Juvenile Delinquency:
There has been different views on the definition and age of Juvenile delinquents. Juvenile Delinquency is a commonly used term in the modern age where crime rates have increased alarmingly. It is found that more and more children are engaged in violence and antisocial acts.
Even some do not hesitate to commit murder. Parents and child psychiatrists are extremely worried about this problem and hence of late Juvenile delinquency has earned immense importance and is being discussed, researched and investigated intensively and extensively.
Juvenile delinquency has been defined differently by laymen, sociologists, psychologists and law enforcing agents. Traditionally crime committed by children and adolescents under statutory age is called delinquency. Though the maximum age limit and meaning of delinquency varies from country to country, the age limit is always below 18 years.
According to the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court act Juvenile delinquency is defined as follows:
“A delinquent child is one who violated any laws of the common wealth ordinance of a city, a child who by reason of being way ward or habitually disobedient, is uncontrolled by his parent, guardian, custodian or legal representative, a child who is habitually truant from school or home or a child who habitually so deports himself as to injure or endanger the morals or health of himself or others.”
Delinquency according to Coleman (1981) refers to “The behaviour of youths under the age of 18 years which is not acceptable to the society and is generally regarded as calling for some kind of admonishment, punishment or corrective actions.”
Starting from use of illegal drugs, homicide, murder of class mates, girl friend and other it may include other dangerous criminal offences. But it is wrong to have the notion that juvenile delinquents are under-age criminals or non adult criminals who engage in offences that are equal to the crimes committed by adults.
According to the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 the maximum age for juvenile delinquents is 16 years for boys and 18 years for girls. But earlier according to the children’s Act it varied from state to state. But the nature of offence has remained unchanged.
The difference between a delinquent child and an adult criminal can be found by the conduct involved, the methods employed by the court, the approach and methods applied in treatment etc.
Juvenile delinquency is also defined from the legal as well as psychological stand point. According to the legal definition a juvenile delinquent is a person below the age of 18 years who indulges in antisocial activity.
In the U.S.A. the Ohio court code defined juvenile delinquency as follows. “A juvenile delinquent is one who breaks the law, is a vagrant, and persists in disobeying orders, whose behaviour endangers his own moral life as well as the moral life of others or one who tries to marry without the consent of his parents.”
The age of the juvenile delinquents has not been similarly determined in all countries. Though it varies from country to country it is within the usual limits of 16 and 20.
According to Reckless (1956) the term juvenile delinquency, applies to the violation of criminal code and/or per suit of certain patterns of behaviour disapproved of for children and young adolescents. Thus both age and antisocial behaviours prohibited in the statutes are important in the concept of juvenile delinquency.
2. Essay on the Psychological Definition of Juvenile Delinquency:
The psychological definition of juvenile delinquency hints at the causes of juvenile delinquency. From the legal view point all those who are not apprehended are not criminals but from the psychological view point all such offenders are also criminals. The psychological definition of juvenile delinquency appears to be more comprehensive and practical. It explains the characteristics of juvenile delinquency more appropriately.
According to the psychological definition a juvenile delinquent is one who forcibly possesses the property of another, damages or indulges in anti social activity. A male or female child between the ages of 15 and 18 who commits a crime irrespective of the fact that he is arrested or not, is a juvenile delinquent.
This definition of juvenile delinquency helps in explaining and preventing it. In the opinion of various psychologists an action may be an antisocial act even if the child is not is apprehended like stone throwing on the electric lamp post on the road or a car. Any act which creates danger to others activities or hinders their day to day work is also a delinquent behaviour.
If we accept only the legal definition of delinquency then a lot of unsocial and antisocial activates of the delinquents will not come in to the purview of delinquency for consideration and treatment. This will weaken the social system and increase criminal behaviour in the society.
If someone sets fire on some one’s property without any cause and just because of fun, or when someone takes away a couple of slabs from a bridge over a river just to see the fun of someone falling down the river and various such sadistic tendencies come under the scope of juvenile delinquency.
Thus juvenile delinquency includes those activities which are misconducts, wrong as well as illegal, which are despised by the social norms. It is definitely an antisocial behaviour which spoils the peace and happiness of the society in the long run. It is the wrong doings of a child or a young person who is under an age specified by the law for the time being in force.
According to Newmeyer “A delinquent is a person under age who is guilty of antisocial act and whose misconduct is an infraction of law.”
3. Essay on the Difference between Crime and Juvenile Delinquent:
A. Difference in Age:
Apparently, the basic difference between a criminal and a juvenile delinquent is one of age. Both delinquents and criminals indulge in antisocial activities. But juvenile delinquents are below 18 years age while the criminals are 18 years or above in age. The purpose of both is to do harm to the society.
Society and social scientists consider crime and delinquency as a type of conduct disorder that stands as a barrier on the way of human relationship. The nature of conduct in both the cases being same it is perhaps the age which differentiates between a criminal and a juvenile delinquent.
B. Difference in Conduct:
Though both the criminals and juvenile delinquents are mainly distinguished on the basis of age, they also have subtle differences in conduct i.e., in the crime they commit. Juvenile delinquents are usually engaged in cruelty, obstinacy, remaining in the company of bad people, thieves, dacoits, and prostitutes.
They remain absent in their homes for long periods without taking permission for informing their parents, some of them roam late at night in the lonely streets.
Some are engaged in sadistic activities like throwing stones on the cars, light posts, innocent animals and children. Such activities in strict sense are not illegal and for that matter criminal. Usually unemployed frustrated youths, beggers, and youths belonging to gangs behave in a delinquent manner and are called juvenile delinquents.
C. Differences in Characteristics:
Kohen has differentiated juvenile delinquents from criminals on the basis of their characteristics discussed as follows:
(a) In the activities of juvenile delinquents utility lacks i.e., they do not show antisocial conducts to gain anything or to be benefitted by that. For instance, throwing stones at objects out of pleasure or to harass an unknown person, roaming in the streets late at night without any basic purpose are actions of a delinquent which cannot be called a criminal behaviour.
(b) A juvenile is a mischief maker without any gain while a criminal acts to gain something. A delinquent (juvenile) is not aware of the purpose of his conduct, i.e. he does not know why he is doing these mischiefs. He sometimes commits a crime or violence just to enjoy or make fun.
But the motive of a criminal is different. He does certain crime or violence to fulfill his motive of hostility, revenge vindictiveness to get money, to terrorize people and loot all their property.
(c) The crime or antisocial activities of a delinquent is not planned or organised. He shows his misconduct on the spur of the moment while in most cases if not in all a criminal has a purpose of his crime and he organizes his crimes in such a skilled manner that it is quite difficult to trace him.
(d) Thus, though juvenile delinquents and criminals are distinguished on the basis of age, character, purpose and conduct, age seems to be the most significant difference between a criminal and a juvenile delinquent.
4. Essay on the Incidence of Juvenile Delinquency:
The incidence of delinquency as reported by Coleman (1981) increased by 100 percent between 1968-1975. Though previously only boys were involved in delinquency currently more and more girls are joining this antisocial act. It is most shocking to note that almost half of the notorius crimes in U.S.A. are committed by juveniles and adolescents.
However, of the total delinquencies committed by juveniles only 2 percent come to take notice of the police and the courts.
While female delinquents are commonly taken under custody for sexual offenses, drug abuse, running away from home etc. male delinquents are more engaged in stealing, theft, drug usage and drug abuse, robbery, sexual abuse and aggravated assaults.
Currently, the incidence of delinquency is increasing in an alarming manner in Metro cities and it is indeed a matter of great concern for the law and order authority, parents and society at large.
5. Essay on the Incidence of Juvenile Delinquency in India:
Reports show a steady increase in the percentage of delinquency in India. While it was 16,160 in 1961, it was 40,666 in 1974 as per reports published by the Ministry of Home Affairs; govt. of India. In 13 years, it seems the increase in the incidence in 250 percent. Of course the corresponding rise in population is to be taken care of while considering the rate of rise of delinquency in India.
While examining the incidence of delinquency in India, it is to be kept in view that of the total delinquencies committed by the juveniles, less than 2 percent come to the notice of the police and courts.
The statistics collected by the National Crime Records Bureau indicates that up to 1987, every year about 50 thousand delinquencies were committed under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and about 85 thousand under the local and special laws.
But after the enforcement of the Juvenile Justice Act in Oct 1987 the new definition of juvenile delinquency excludes males in the age group of 16-21 years and females in the age group of 18-21 years. So crime cases attributed to juveniles have been reduced now.
Due to this juvenile delinquency compared to 1987 and earlier years has decreased in 1988 both in under Indian Penal Code and the local and special laws, crime in India (1994) records show that about 14,500 juveniles are apprehended under the IPC and about 6000 are apprehended under the local and special laws in a year for different crimes.
Coming to the comparison of percentage of juvenile crime to total cognizable crime in India, in 1994, it was about 0.5 percent and in 1988 it was 1.7 percent. Before 1988 it was about 4 percent.
The incidence of juvenile delinquency varies all over India. Among all the states in India the earlier report was that Maharashtra had the highest percentage of juvenile crime, (24.8%), second place went to M.P. (20.5%) and third place to Gujarat (10.9%). Kerala had the lowest incidence rate of only 0.2 percent.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat account for more than 69 percent of the total juvenile delinquencies under the Indian Penal Code in the entire country. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for more than 69 percent of the total offences committed by juveniles under the local and special laws.
The maximum number of delinquences committed by juveniles under the IPC theft, robbery, dacoity and burglary as per the report of crime in India (1994). Out of these theft was 28 percent, burglary was 15.1 percent, robbery was 0.6% and dacoity was 0.4%; which come to total 44 percent cognizable crimes committed by juveniles. This was 9.7 percent more compared to the adult criminals who committed similar crimes.
6. Essay on the Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquency:
a. Male Sex:
Reports show that the delinquency rates are much more higher in boys than in girls. In India the involvement of girls in juvenile delinquency up to 1987 was about 6 to 7 percent. In 1994 the ratio between boys and girls was 4.5 to 1 (4.5 boys for each girl). According to crimes in India report of the 17,203 juveniles apprehended in 1994, 19.5 percent were girls.
b. Low Social Class and Poor Economic Condition:
Some reports show that lower class youths and those residing in slum areas are more engaged in delinquent behaviour. Henry and Gold (1973) in an important study found significant relationship between social status and delinquency behaviour. It is also important to note that the delinquency rate of socially disadvantaged youths appears about 50-50 for whites and non whites.
But Findings of some other studies like that of Ostraw (1974) do not support this. Poor economic condition is another important characteristic of juvenile delinquency as data show. In India about half of the delinquents come from homes with an income of less than Rs. 500/- per month and 2.1 come from upper middle class.
Since social class is related to economic status in India, the role of society in juvenile delinquency cannot be ruled out. These findings and data thus show that juvenile delinquency is more found in lower class people who are socially and economically under-privileged.
Almost all studies conducted in India or the relationship between juvenile delinquency and socio-economic class show that the lowest socio-economic status groups have been found to have the highest rates of delinquency. Thus there is a negative correlation between socio-economic status and delinquency.
c. Influence of Age:
It is found that the rates of delinquency is highest in 12-16 year age group i.e. during early adolescence. About two third of the delinquents fall within this age group. Observations of day to day delinquent behaviour also supports this view. About 21.8 percent belong to 7-12 years age group and 14.3 percent to 16-18 years age group.
d. Urban Influence:
Juvenile delinquency is more found in urban areas. The metropolitan cities produce more juvenile delinquents than small cities and town. Similarly in rural areas juvenile delinquency is found more than in small cities and towns.
Data shows that out of the 1362 crimes committed in 23 metropolitan cities in India about 74.7 percent were committed in seven cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad-Pune, Nagpur and Hyderabad. While the percentage was highest in Mumbai (16.6 percent), it was lowest in Hyderabad (5.2 percent).
There is more scope in urban areas for pick pocketing, theft and dacoity and other small crimes. Moreover, the alluring city life and influence of T.V and cinema to which urban juveniles are addicted help them to be delinquents.
e. Family Environment:
The role of family environment in delinquency cannot be over looked. Data shows that children staying with parents and guardians commit more juvenile crimes than children who do not live with their parents and guardians. In 1994 it was found that about 71 percent of the delinquents were found to be involved in crimes who did not stay with their parents.
f. Low Educational Background:
It is a major cause of delinquency. Illiterate and uneducated juveniles commit more delinquency than their educated counter parts. 29.9 percent of the juveniles in 1994 were illiterate, 43.690 were educated up to primary level. 21 percent passed secondary education and about 5.5 percent came illiterate and less educated families. Most delinquents therefore came from illiterate and less educated families.
g. First Offenders:
More than 88 percent of the delinquents are first offenders as the 1994 reports show. Thus more than four fifths of the juvenile delinquents are new offenders or commit offence for the first time.
7. Types Essay on the of Juvenile Delinquency:
Howard Becker (1966) has referred to 4 types of delinquencies:
1. In Individual Delinquency:
Individual delinquency refers to the involvement of only one individual in the delinquent act and its cause is located within the individual delinquent. This type of delinquency is strongly supported by psychologists and psychiatrists.
They argue that juvenile delinquency arises mostly out of psychological problems of the family during childhood like faulty child rearing practices, rejection by the family, strict discipline, frustration, unsuitable marital relation between parents, frequent quarrel between parents and family members, faulty interaction between parents and children, poverty, etc.
Studies and researches of Bandura, Healy and Bronner, Powers, Witmer, Meyer and Borgatta are based on this approach.
Healy and Bronner (1936) compared the delinquent subjects with their non-delinquent siblings and found that over 90 percent of the delinquents compared to their 13 per-cent non-delinquent siblings had a very unhappy and rejected childhood at home and they were not at all attached to their home.
Some feel that they are not loved and cared for by their parents, rather rejected by them. Some of them suffered from sibling jealousy and some others from mental conflict or guilt feeling. Thus the causes of family unhappiness varied from delinquent to delinquent. They took recourse to delinquency to resolve these frustrations.
Thus delinquency is a reaction to unhappy and frustrated childhood. By becoming delinquents they tried to draw the attention of their parents, brothers and sisters and friends which reduced their guilt feelings.
Bandura and waters in a study compared the white delinquents with the white non-delinquents with regard to their aggressive conduct and found that it is the relationship with the father that matters most in delinquent behaviour.
Thus father-son relationship rather than mother-son relationship appeared to be more crucial in delinquent behaviour. Because of a harsh relationship with the father the delinquent boys developed hatred towards them and they (the fathers) could not prove to be good models to them.
The strict discipline imposed by fathers is usually responsible for delinquency. Also those boys who fail to internalize the moral values of their fathers show delinquent behaviour.
2. Delinquency Supported by Groups:
These types of delinquencies occur in the company of others, in small gangs. Here the cause of delinquency is located in the society and culture of the delinquent and not in the individual or his family. Studies of findings conducted by Thrusher, Shaw and Mckay support the above view. If a child or adolescent mixes with some who are already delinquents, he learns from them to show delinquent behaviour.
That is why it is said that association of bad companies is extremely dangerous for the child. These delinquents become models for other children and they follow their conduct disorders without question. Thus it is said to be a learned behaviour than due to a motivation from within.
3. Organised Delinquency:
Organised Delinquency was developed for the first time by Cohen and followed by others. Delinquent activities committed by developing formal groups are called organised delinquency. The concept of delinquent subculture was developed in U.S.A. in 1950s by analyzing these delinquencies.
It refers to a set of values and norms that guide the behaviour of group members, encourage their antisocial activities and award status to their delinquent conduct. Anyone who does not accept their values and act accordingly he is considered as an out group.
All the delinquents of the group are to be guided by the group norms. If anyone violates the rules of the group he is punished. Organised crimes committed by adolescents like bank lotting, lotting of huge amount of cash from public, various types of robberies like theft of ornaments, mobile phones etc. In certain cases adult criminals use the organised delinquent groups to do all kinds of crimes.
4. Situational Delinquency:
In the above three categories of delinquency, the delinquency is deeply rooted in the individual, the group and the social structures are responsible for delinquent behaviour. However, in case of situational delinquency the assumption is different.
Here the delinquency is not deeply rooted like the earlier ones. Here the delinquent act occurs because of some situational factors or because of lack of impulse control. He sees a girl and out of sudden impulse he starts eve teasing.
He had no earlier desire or intention to do it. The act comes all of a sudden on the spur of the moment. But very few delinquent behaviour are influenced by it as we see from experience and psychological analysis. The situational delinquency is not much developed and it is not a strong factor to influence delinquency.
5. Un-Organised Delinquency:
Most of the crimes under juvenile delinquency are un-organised and take place individually. Here the blame goes to the individual and not to any organised group. It may also take place in a group of two three persons. Juvenile gangs committing delinquency with the support of organised adult criminals are not many in India. Most of the situational delinquencies are un-organised.
8. Essay on the Methods for Detecting Juvenile Delinquency:
The methods of detecting delinquency may be classified in to:
(a) Statistical Method
(b) Case History Method
(c) Psychoanalytic Method.
1. Statistical Method:
Cyril Burt prepared an inventory with a list of some situations or circumstances like physical, mental environmental, hereditary, situations outside home and inside home, physical and mental conditions etc. and tried to find out the delinquents.
The most important cause of delinquency was found to be emotional along with environmental and familial conditions. Cyril Burt found the major factors concerning delinquency were very strict or very linnet discipline, unpalatable relationship between parents and emotional reaction of parents.
2. Case History Method:
In the case history method the bio-data of the subjects and all aspects of his personality like his childhood illness, his childhood conduct, significant occurrences during childhood, his drawing and paintings, his play activities, etc. are analyzed to trace if he has any delinquent syndrome.
Thus relevant information relating to his home environment, parental attitude, school, family life, relationship with peers are collected and tests of intelligence, personality are applied to collect detailed and objective information.
On the basic of all such information’s a complete case history is developed which can explain if the child or youth has juvenile qualities. Unwarranted aggressiveness, hostile tendency, bitter criticism and back-biting others, blaming others, sadistic tendencies like inflicting pain on domestic animals, toys, smaller siblings, and all such qualities during childhood contribute to delinquency.
3. Psycho Analytic Method:
Psycho analytic method is the most important technique to trace juvenile delinquents. The subconscious and unconscious mind of the subject is analyzed and explained through psychoanalysis, and counselling.
Through projective tests like Word Association test, Thematic Apperception Test and Research test, dream analysis and tests of similar kind the depth and unconscious aspects of oneâ€™s personality are exposed and uncovered.
It is traced if the child/adolescent has any delinquent tendency which would subsequently drive him to delinquency and criminal behaviour. Those psychological factors which lead to criminal behaviour must be assessed to trace delinquents.
The psycho analytic method is said to be the best technique to trace delinquent tendencies in view of its consideration of personal, familial, emotional, social and environmental factors along with the application of various intelligence and personality tests.
9. Essay on the Causes of Juvenile Delinquency in India:
Research evidences and results of various investigations on the causes of delinquency point out that several factors either independently or interactedly influence delinquent behaviour. By tracing the causes of delinquency of youngsters it can be possible to start treating them in the right direction, so that the lines of so many children and adolscents can be saved.
In many parts of India criminality, criminal tendency or delinquency is looked upon with disgrace. It is believed that abnormality or criminality is caused by the evil deeds of parents, grand parents and great grand parents. This is undoubtedly a misconception, a superstition and a prejudice.
Delinquency is a complex and complicated socio-psychological problem. To prevent and control delinquency and to treat it, it is essential to know the how and why of delinquency. Psychologists, Sociologists and criminologists have tried to explain the causes of delinquency from different perspectives which will be discussed here.
The variables of delinquency have been divided by psychologists and sociologists as follows:
(b) Socio cultural
(c) Situational and environmental
(d) Personal or psychological factors which include personality characteristics.
i. Pathological Family Patterns:
Familial causes of delinquency are regarded as the most powerful explanations of delinquency. Family is considered as the most significant factor in the development of juvenile delinquency according to many theorists working in the area of juvenile delinquency. The family is a primary group where the child is born and brought up.
The first five six years of life play very significant role during the formative period of the child’s personality. Class status, power group relations and class nobility all are directly or indirectly related to the family environment.
Early child-hood experiences, emotional deprivations and the style of parenting, child rearing practices-help in the formation of personality and development of attitude, values, stereotypes, prejudices and life styles of the child.
ii. Pathological Family Patterns:
Family environment responsible for delinquent behaviour includes pathological family patterns as found from the studies conducted on juvenile delinquency.
Pathological family patterns include broken homes, faulty discipline and child rearing practices, socio pathic parental models, family tension, parental rejection, particularly rejection by father absenteeism, mother dominance, undesirable relationship with peers and siblings, emotional instability and behavioural disturbances in one or both of the parents, and poor economic condition of the family, lack of moral and value development.
Discussed below some of these variables of juvenile delinquency.
(a) Broken home:
A broken family means where one parent is absent because of separation, divorce, death and single parenting (unwed mother). Studies show the children coming from broken homes where the parents are separated or divorced lead to delinquent behaviour than those children coming from broken homes where the home is broken by the death of the parent.
A broken family fails to provide love, affection, security, parental care and control to the child. Sheldon and Glueck (1968) in a study of delinquents and non-delinquents found that more than fifty percent of the delinquents studied were reared by one parent where as only 10 percent of the non-delinquents were reared by one parent.
The effect of unmarried teen age mothers on their children is negative. The findings of this study was strongly supported by the studies of Morahon (1957), Browing (1960), Gold Martin Slocum and Stone (1965), Peterson and Becker (1965). They all found that a significantly greater number of delinquents than non-delinquents were from broken home.
However, this cause of delinquency seems to be affecting the children of Western Countries more, where separation and divorce of parents are so common that they become every day affair. There are in fact few incidences in western countries to-day where the parents have not been at least once separated or divorced.
To add to this the problem of unwed mother has been increasing in an alarming manner particularly in U.S.A. which has accelerated the problem of juvenile delinquency.
In a study of institutionalized delinquents in the state of Colorado, Barker and Adams (1962) found that only about one third of the boys and girls come from complete home setting where they live with both their original parents. The number of children being raised in father less home has quadrupled since 1950.
(b) Family Tension:
In this age of tension and anxiety, family tension is very commonly experienced. Various problems of day to day life lead to family tension which is a major contributing factor to delinquent behaviour. Abrahamsen (1960) found that family tension among other factors results from hostility and hatred. In a family environment filled with tension the children and youngsters do not feel secured and happy.
They also feel tensed and anxious, irritated and annoyed continuous and constant tension in the family for long periods reduces family’s cohesiveness and the child rearing practices are affected. McCords and Zolac (1959) in a very significant study observed that delinquency is few in cohesive home atmosphere.
On the contrary, in homes where quarrel, tension, and hostility existed delinquency starts spreading its wings. Gluecks (1968) found evidences supporting family tension and hostility giving rise to delinquency, playing important role in the development of delinquency. To-day the adolescents face a new sets of dangers different from those faced by previous generation and perhaps very tough to defend against.
(c) Faulty Discipline and Child Rearing Practices:
When both the parents or one of them use rigid discipline it leads to the elevation of hostility in the boy, because all the wishes and desires of the child are restrained. As a reaction, a hostile, antisocial and rebellious personality develops in the growing child.
Constant suppression of desires make him extremely aggressive and like a steam boiler force the hostile urges need some expression. Conflicting views of parents regarding discipline etc. also contribute to delinquent behaviour.
Discipline and child rearing practices instead of being democratic if become autocratic with very-very dominating parents it has very unfavorable repression on the growing child’s personality and ego. If the child is handled with love and care, affection and understanding if the discipline is harsh, inconsistent and irrational, his suppressed aggression is vented through antisocial and delinquent behaviour.
The type of discipline used by the parents in child rearing varies from child to child. An authoritarian approach to discipline affects the child in his peer group relationships as the child will not be able to interact freely with his peers and friends. On the other hand a too lenient attitude will not provide the child with necessary controls to guide his behaviour.
Unfair and partial discipline stands on the way of adequate conscience development in the child and the parents fail to serve as a model for the child to imitate. The child conversely hurts the parents by developing delinquent behaviour.
Gluecks (1968) observed that those parents who used physical punishment more than verbal discussion and were less consistent in their discipline, they had more numbers of delinquent children. Punitive discipline, lax discipline and erratic discipline are said to be influencing delinquency than love oriented and flexible discipline.
(d) Emotional Instability:
Emotional disturbance is due to lack of both emotional intelligence and emotional stability of both or one of the parents which provide conflict in them. The child of such parents shows a lot of antisocial activities and delinquent behaviour by exploiting the situation. Emotional instability in parents also prepares the ground for crime in children when they grow up.
A child’s personality is greatly influenced if the parents do not show love and affection and impose authoritarian discipline. The child feels neglected and frustrated, develops rebellious tendencies and to compensate, develops delinquent tendencies.
They themselves also show symptoms of emotional insecurity. Healy and Bronner observed that 93 percent of all juvenile delinquents manifest symptoms of emotional disturbance. Such a state of mind encourages criminal behaviour in the child.
(e) Sociopathi Parental Models:
Glueck and Glueck (1969), Ulmar (1971) and Bandura (1973) have found high degree of sociopathi traits in the parents of delinquents. Socio pathic traits include alcoholism, brutality, antisocial attitudes, frequent and unnecessary absence from homes, lack of communication with the child. All these traits make the father an inadequate and unacceptable model for the child.
Regarding girls Scharfman and Clark (1967) hold that the chief variables responsible for developing delinquent behaviour of girls were:
(a) Broken home
(b) Emotional deprivation
(c) Irrational, harsh and inconsistent parental discipline,
(d) Excessive aggressive and sexual behaviour shown by parents.
In a family where parents try to conceal many facts of their own life from children and make the child feel unwanted the tendency towards crime is aggravated.
(f) Parental Absenteeism:
In studies of juvenile delinquency Martin (1961) and others have emphasized the feeling of un-relatedness and detachment from the family and society as a key cause of delinquency. If both the parents of or one of them remain absent for long time or continuously there is lack of communication between the parents and the child. Due to the absence of the parents, the child fails to learn appropriate social values and morality.
This ultimately leads to a tendency to express the inner tension in hostile and destructive activities. The feeling of un-relatedness or insecurity arises in young people of different age groups, intelligence social economic status and personality make up because of parental absenteeism.
Further when parents are too much absorbed in their own occupations and activities and fail to provide the young child optimum attention, necessary support and encouragement during the crisis period of growing age, they turn to peers, friends and outsiders as models who might be lacking the qualities of ideal models for the child, children growing in parent absent or father absent family face several risks.
Research findings suggest that as they include increased depression and anxiety, impaired cognitive and social performance and difficulty in forming meaningful relationship in the society.
(g) Mother Dominance:
When the father is busy with his own work and commitments or for other reasons, and plays a submissive role in the family, the mother takes over the function of providing affection, love and discipline to the boy child. Thus, the boy child identifies with his mother and accepts her as the model.
During adolescence the boy who has already identified with the mother and depended greatly upon her as a role model, perhaps finds it difficult to develop a masculine self concept.
He therefore expresses his masculinity, independence, courage and male ego in various rebellious, offences, violence and crime. By being engaged in such antisocial acts, he tries to show the world that he is really masculine and he also gets the satisfaction that he is really masculine.
(h) Father Rejection:
On the basis of the findings of his study Andry (1962) concluded that the delinquent boys felt rejected by their fathers but loved by their mothers. Non delinquent boys on the other hand, felt to be equally loved and cared by both the parents. A child who is rejected by one of his parents day in and dayout develops naturally an inner feeling of hostility towards him.
The gap in communication and lack of understanding between the two paves the way for antisocial behaviours in the form of anger, aggression and hostility. When the frustrated child finds that a large part of his world is unable to deal with him properly, he becomes rebellious and does not like to understand the society and world either.
This hostility is transformed in the form of antisocial and delinquent behaviour. Such a child or adolescent lacks inner control. He cannot control his compulsions. He does not have the basic values of life. He has no moral principles and conscience.
He is guided by his Id, the pleasure principle. He is not properly socialized and hence is not aware of the dos and donâ€™ts of life. Under these circumstances, he tends to act out his aggressive impulses.
Father’s work habits, economic conditions of the family, cohesiveness of family, conjugal relations of parents, affection of siblings, household duties attached to the child and unrefined cultural influences also have roles in the development of delinquency of children.
Disorganized work habits of the father produces disorganized work habits in the youngster when he grows. Economic condition of the family contributes in a major way to delinquency.
When a family is unable to provide for the material needs and comforts of the child in to-days society, even if his basic minimum needs are not fulfilled, the child feels in-secured and needs material and financial support from outside the family.
Thus, the family loses its control over the child and child gets a free hand to show antisocial conducts. However economic status of the family can be one of the many variables leading to delinquency. Further want of money and material possessions do not usually explain middle and upper class delinquency.
Some experts opine that broken families are more apt to produce criminal tendencies in females than in male juveniles. The child care society of Mumbai had 366 boys and 169 girls under its care in 1947. Of these children five girls and two boys were extremely indiscipline, nine girls and six boys were the victim of moral insecurity.
In a broken family relationship between father-son, husband-wife, mother son-brothers and sisters, parents and children is strained. In such a vicious family environment the children are bound to become delinquents and become a burden to themselves as well as to the society.
Evirt and Yerril consider distorted family influence to be the most potent cause of delinquency. Healy and Bronner found that out of the 4000 juvenile delinquents in Boston fifty percent of them came from broken families. Effect of criminal relatives has an influence on delinquency.
(i) Undesirable Peer Relationship:
Delinquency is said to be a gang experience. In support of this view Hanery and Gold (1973) found that about 66 percent of the delinquent behaviours are committed in association with other persons. Usually it is a homogenous group so far as sex is concerned.
(j) Broken Families:
Studies on juvenile delinquency suggest that the greatest number of delinquents come from broken families. A broken family is one in which family ties are destroyed. In a broken family the members are in constant friction with each other. Absence of intimate relationship between family members lead to the development of delinquency. In such a family the child is not worked up properly.
10. Essay on the Sociocultural Factors of Juvenile Delinquency:
(a) Alienation and Rebellion:
It is viewed by many ego psychologists that the modern youth is only a bundle of confusions about the values of his life. It is common in all youths coming from all socio economic levels. It is often found that they do not even accept the values of their parents and family where they grow.
Moreover, they suffer from identity crisis and even are confused of their own values. They have no clear concept of what they are, what they need to do and what they need not do.
They are not even aware what society needs from them and what values they have to accept and what they have to reject as if there is no one to guide them properly: Parents are so busy with their own work that rarely they give time to their children.
The number of working mothers gradually increasing in India. Children feel alienated being uncared for by their parents. As a result, rebellion tendencies grow leading ultimately to delinquency. The father and mother of a young boy of 7-8 years age were working at different places and hence remained separately for some years.
The boy was staying with his working mother. When he returned from school the mother was not there.
The servant had to feed the child and play with him. This was an everyday affair till 6 P.M. He had no friends to play. The child therefore felt the absence of both his mother and father and became alienated. As a reaction he used to break the bangles of his mother and throw them here and there, he started telling lies and showed misconduct.
The mother after observing these behaviour started to explain the child the reasons of his fatherâ€™s absence and mothers late arrival at home. Further during holidays and Sundays both the parents started taking him to parks, picnics, museum, zoo and restaurants.
They began spending more time with the child. All these actions of the parents reduced the aggressive behaviour and the child was saved from becoming a delinquent.
Such circumstances in the family and society always produce in the child a feeling of alienation from his family and the society. Lack of identification and development of clear values turn them to the outer world, to the peers and friends in particular for guidance and approval. They take drugs and engage in other illegal antisocial activities to release their frustration, and feeling of alienation.
They need some company which they often find in anti-socials. There are large numbers of instances where many modern youths run away from home as a sort of reaction to their rebellious feelings, join gangs, indulge in delinquent behaviour or prostitution. Similarly socially disadvantaged youths belonging to lower status and lower caste, lower income may turn to delinquency as a revolt against their society and culture.
(b) Neighbourhood and Influence of Peers:
While the family is a primary group, the neighbourhood is a secondary group. Next to the family the neighbourhood plays a very significant role in the development of social and antisocial behaviours. The child spends a lot of time in the company of the children in the neighbourhood.
Particularly during play hours and off days the child visits the nearby houses in the colony to play with children and meet their parents. By blocking the basic personality needs of the child the neighbourhood can increase cultural conflicts and develop antisocial values.
On the positive side, it cans conversely supplement the influence of the home in the development and maintenance of various social values. Affectionate and caring neighbours take a lot of care of children of the next house. It is found in many cases when a working mother goes to office she leaves her child with the neighbour next door who takes care of the child just like his own mother.
Some decades back neighbours had a very good relationship with each other and they were great agents of socialization. But to-day the matter is different. In a colony, hundreds of families stay. But they remain years together as strangers.
In some cases neighbours quarrel on small matters and are not in talking terms for years together. This has a very bad repercussion on the child. Due to growth of population now a day, the neighborhoods are very congested.
There is no place in a colony with adequate recreation facility, which blocks the natural play impulses of children and encourages the formation of delinquentâ€™s gangs. Five to ten children of similar mentality form a gang to undertake delinquent activities like stealing, torturing the elder people out of fun.
Pick pocketing, chain snatching, making comments at girls and physically handicaps, and similar other crimes of small nature. Cinema halls, video-halls, small hotels and even temples, isolated market places in the nearby areas become the starting point of antisocial behaviour and delinquency.
Therefore neighbourhood as a socio cultural agent has great role to play in the causation of delinquency. While a neighbourhood with positive attitude and all facilities is a good neighbourhood for the purpose of personality development, an un-favourable neighbourhood leads to the fostering of antisocial behaviour and delinquency.
During young age and adolescence peers and class mates play a tremendous role in the development of anti-social behaviour. When the child joins school he is now more influenced by his school mates and playmates.
He imitates one whom he likes and internalizes his values, conduct and attitudes. Good peers help in developing positive qualities while socially unacceptable peers help in the development of social evils and delinquent behaviour.
(c) Influence of Television, Cinema and other Reading Materials:
Of late, television serials, movies and comic books demonstrate a lot of immorality and violence which leave a strong and lasting impression on the tender minds of youngsters. The minds of children are compared with a bunch of clay and it can be moulded to any shape through social learning, imitation and observational learning.
Now a day, various types of antisocial behaviour, crimes and the techniques of crime are shown in most of the Bollywood films and in many television serials. The techniques used in murdering class mates or other persons, bank looting, snatching huge amount of money, gold ornaments, eve teasing, making obscene advances towards girls, kidnapping etc. are shown in these electronic forms of entertainment.
Aggression and violence are shown in some cartoon pictures, which influence the malleable mind of the child. Many gangs or even individual children learn these techniques like how to open a lock, how to plan for a crime and apply these techniques in real life situations may be out of fun, may be out of need and some intention.
Thus, indirectly they teach the techniques of different antisocial behaviour and crime to children. When certain techniques are shown in the electronic media, children think these are approved by the society and without fear they imitate it and use in practical life. Movies and television serials therefore reinforce delinquency and crime to a great extent.
Further they become sure of the success of these techniques in real life crimes when they see its success in a movie. Of course all children exposed to violence in movies commit this crime.
Those who are more susceptible to crime and violence because of familial, and personal factors, they more readily internalize violence seen in movies and televisions. They develop attitudes conducive to delinquency by arousing desires for easy money, inducing a spirit of adventurousness, toughness, motivating sexual desires etc.
(d) Social Rejection:
Motivation is a crucial factor for any type of work to be undertaken. Due to lack of motivation to study young boys and girls leave the school in the middle and become drop outs as soon as they can. Because of want of suitable educational qualification and motivation they do not qualify for any job.
They consider themselves to be useless and unneeded for the society. They feel themselves to be rejected by the society. This lack of hope, feeling of uselessness and that they are the unwanted rejected lots of the society lead them to show undesirable antisocial behaviour. Many of them remain unemployed.
Those who somehow manage to get some employment are unable to hold the job. So they change one job to another without any visible reason and are engaged in delinquent behaviours partly due to frustration and partly due to confusion and hopelessness.
(e) Delinquent Gang Subculture:
This deals with revolt against the norms of the society. If a person is rejected by the society or feels so his inner tension is often revealed in serious delinquent acts like beating and fighting, leading to serious physical injury.
As Jenkins (1969) has put it, “The socialized delinquents represent not a failure of socialization but a limitation of loyality to a more or less predatory peer group. The basic capacities for social relationship have been achieved. What is lacking is an effective integration with the larger society as a contributing member.”
Due to the influence of peers they join in gangs and indulge in anti-social activities. Gang membership provides them a sense of status, a sense of approval and belongingness which they failed to get from their family and other social agents.
We find therefore adolescents in urban area and metropolitan cities joining pubs, night clubs, narcotics gangs, juvenile gangs to fulfill their antisocial desires. In a gang the responsibility or blame of threat, is not shouldered by any individual member but by the gangs as a whole. Thus some prefer to steal or booze and do other illegal acts in the name of gang.
Studies have shown that the groups outside the home have a tremendous impact on the personality of the child and adolescent. Initially the gang starts as a play group in the absence of playground facility, the children start playing in the streets and eventually form a gang and the behaviour of each person is mostly influenced by the gang and so each member of the gang develops delinquent characteristics.
Though the gang has all the characteristics of an in group like co-operation, unity, fellow feeling and belongingness, it is also associated with crimes like rioting, stealing, homicide, rape, dacoity, corrupt politics, eve teasing, boozing, taking drugs, assault, murder, attempted rape, violence again girls minor and major and so on.
Thus, in an organised way they create terror in the area. We have heard of many gangs who make pick-pocketing, bank robbery, theft of car parts, motor cycle, two in ones and computers in an organised way. Studies have shown that these children are roughly between 10-16 years age.
They also come from poor socio-economic families who stay in a one room thatched house in congested unhealthy localities with constant quarrel and friction between parents and family members.
Parents do not have any control on them, neither them. They need their guidance. They go by the control and guidance of the gang of which they are members. Even they do not listen to their parents. In some cases, parents are also found to encourage their antisocial behaviour because of need and poverty.
Studies also show that delinquency is committed in groups and in companies. Shorn analyzed 60,000 cases of crime and found that in 72 percent of the cases, two or more companions were involved. Healy reports that companionship was a single factor causing delinquency in 34 percent of the cases while Burt gives the figure at 18 percent and Udaya Sankar gives it at 23 percent.
In recent years female delinquents have also developed their gangs with a purpose to protect or defy themselves. They find a sense of acceptance, belongingness, give and take, sympathy, understanding, companionship, loyalty, power and authority which they do not find in the socialized world and which they consider to be an out-group.
But the female gangs are not found as organised and as cohesive as the male gangs. They disintegrate quickly compared to the male gangs. In a recent report of stealing 4 women from Kolkata in the age group of 25-30 were detected by the shop owner while stealing very costly silk sarees from Vishal Garments, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
They were caught with sarees inside their blouse, petticoat etc. They were said to be an organised gang.
11. Essay on the the Situational and Environmental Factors of Juvenile Delinquency:
The situational and environmental causes of delinquency often overlap with each other and with the socio cultural causes of delinquency discussed earlier. The situational and environmental causes of delinquency lie in the society and not in the individual. Thus Mils approach is emphasized more by sociologists.
(a) Bad Company:
Group supported and organised delinquencies stem from the structure of the society. According to famous criminologist E.H. Sutherland criminal behaviour is acquired through interactions with others. An individual becomes a criminal when there is excuse of conditions that promote the infringement of law over conditions that prevent such infringement.
And among children, some get good company while others don’t. The child who gets a bad company progresses towards delinquency and crime while the child who is fortunate enough to get good company becomes a good citizen and useful member of the society.
Thus, the role of people in the environment of the child influences significantly his criminal behaviour, since conduct of his companions influence his behaviour, to a considerable degree. To induce the children to internalize and respect the values and assumptions, norms of the adult society around them it is essential to create such an atmosphere where reinforcement for criminal behaviour is minimum.
(b) Absence of Recreation Facility And/ Or Undesirable Recreation:
Often, children do not know how to spend their spare time. Parents have to provide adequate recreation to them as suitable recreation helps in the normal development of personality. Plays and games are essential to provide recreation to the child. But in the modern age due development to want of space in schools, parks and playing fields children do not get now a days space to spend their free time in play.
Play as a recreation releases the surplus energy blocked in the child. Play has educational, emotional, recreational values. Playing with other children also helps in the socialization process of the child. Play teaches sacrifice, co-operation, competition, give and take, sharing and caring.
But in urban areas and towns now a days even primary schools do not provide scope for play-due to want of space. Most of the schools are located in such crowded areas that many schools don’t have a field of their own. Children go for coaching during play hours due to the obsession of parents for good performance in class.
While hankering after better academic achievement; parents forget that they are spoiling the life of their children by not allowing them to play or enjoy recreation.
I know a child of six years who stays at school from 7 A.M. to 12.30 P.M., returns back home and the first tuition master comes at 3 P.M. At 4 P.M. the child starts going to the second tuition master and returns home at about 7 P.M. and sits for doing home work after having some snacks and a glass of milk.
The rest of the time he enjoys cartoon network and goes to sleep at 11 P.M. after playing with his toys for some time. Investigations and observations show that uncontrolled and improper recreation or absence of any recreation due to pressure of studies or want of play mates, play grounds is one of the causes of juvenile delinquency.
In the modern age, in the absence of enough play grounds, television has become the most important agent of recreation. Even it is found that the only means of recreating children, adolescents and adults is television. Studies show that children on the average see television for 8 to 10 hours a day during holidays and week ends.
They see violence, crimes, theft and various antisocial activities in television which are responsible for delinquent conducts. New patterns of crime are learnt every from television. However different children react differently to crimes.
Actually the reactions of children to films are determined and motivated by the patterns within the house or around the neighbourhood. That is why all children are not equally influenced by crime scenes in films. Previous experience of the child, role of other environmental factors and socio-cultural influences also determine the extent of influence of T.V. violence on the growth of criminal behaviour in children.
(c) Cold War, War, Postwar Conditions and Riots:
Cold war arising out of tension, prejudice and jealousy between neighbouring countries, war and post war periods are found to increase delinquency. When countries actually participate in war the education, discipline and rearing of children is tremendously affected. All the while the horror of war tortures them.
During war time if the father is engaged in war and the mother is a working woman the children are not properly parented. There is scarcity of everything: love and affection, good care. Children live under the night mare of death and destruction. Similarly terrorism and riots affect the peace and happiness of the family members and children.
Terrorism which has a common experience in many countries of the world including India has influenced crimes and delinquencies. Riots caused by situational factors lead to looting, arsons and murders which encourage criminal behaviour.
(d) Social Disorganization:
Any dis-organisation in the society leads to dis-organisation in the individuals which ultimately leads to crime and delinquency. The tension produced due to social dis-organisation provides enough food for delinquency to grow.
Sociologists have also explained the causes of delinquency from sociological perspectives through certain theories:
1. Merton’s Anomie theory (1938) explains the discrepancy between the institutionalized means that are found within the environment and the goals that the individual has learnt to aspire for in the environment to be the cause of crime and delinquency.
2. The Gang theory of Fredrick Thrasher (1936) concentrates on group delinquency and explains that peer and group influence is positively linked to the cause delinquency. He says that the gang does not cause delinquency, but facilities delinquency.
But not nil activities are negative in character to help in the development of deviant behaviour. Many gang members spend their time in sports, play and athletics, social services. The gang theory thus supports the role of environmental pressure on delinquency.
3. The Cultural transmission theory of Shaw and Mckay (1931) views that delinquency is transmitted through personal and group contacts and lack of effective social control agencies contribute to high levels of delinquency in some parts of large cities.
Members suffering from economic deprivation, and lows incomes, groups exposed to delinquent traditions present in these areas tend to become delinquents. Shaw and Mckay further told that other factors of delinquency are secondary to economic and social factors. Sutherland’s theory of crime also supports the learned phenomenon of delinquency.
Role Theory and theory of self of George Herbert. Mead explains why only a limited number of people develop criminal tendencies while the majority of people are abided by law.
He advocates that becoming a delinquent and assuming a criminal identity involves more than merely associating with law violators. The associations have to be meaningful to the individual and supportive of a role and self concept that he wants to become committed to.
Albert Cohen’s Working Class Boys and Middle-class Measuring Rod theory (1955) holds that delinquency is mainly a working class phenomenon. Working class boys according to him finds himself at the bottom of a status hierarchy whenever he moves into the middle class world.
Not having learnt the behaviour that will enable them to deal with the competitive struggle for their success, the working class boys feel frustrated, react against middle class values and standards with malicious and negativistic values.
This is supported by the gang who supports aggression and violence against middle class institutions. Lower class boy and lower class structure theory of Walter Miller (1958) rejects delinquent sub-culture and talks of lower class culture which is the out-come of the process of immigration, migration and mobility.
The lower class develops a distinct pattern of behaviour based on lower class traits like toughness, smartness, excitement, fate and autonomy. The gangs provide the lower class adolescents boys an opportunity to act tough and become involved in masculine activities.
Many of his activities therefore revolve round his desire to become a ‘real man’ and show mainly activities such as anger & violence. But critics say that with mass communication facilities to-day it is difficult to believe that the distinct lower class culture, which Miller describes, can exist in such a original form. Lower class is bound to be influenced by the other classes.
Delinquency and Draft theory (1964) of David Matza rejects the idea that delinquent behaviour is caused almost entirely by emotional and environmental factors. He feels that man is neither totally free nor he is totally controlled but he is some where in between the two. In other words he is between being free and being controlled. Thus it is a middle path view balancing between freedom and control.
The youngsters shift their area of work between crime and conventional action. Their actions are mostly abided by law, but at times or periodically they take recourse to delinquent behaviour.
Matza does stresses the role of will to crime which explains why some children and adolescents choose delinquent behaviour while most of their peers and friends remaining in the same environment choose to show socially accepted behaviour. He says that total dedication to delinquency is uncommon. Most of the delinquents exist between convention and crime.
Thus, all the sociological approaches to delinquency emphasize more or less the role of environment, social structure and learning process. They differ from psychologists who consider the individual and his motivational pattern as important causes of delinquency.
12. Essay on the Individual, Psychological and Personality Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquency:
Under individual factors of juvenile delinquency come the personality traits responsible for such acts. Personality traits like submissiveness, defiance, hostility, impulsiveness, feeling of insecurity and inferiority, lack of self-control, fear, emotional conflict and emotional instability are important determinants of delinquency.
Besides brain damage, psychopathic personality, drug abuse, mental retardation, neuroses and Psychoses are major individual factors of juvenile delinquency.
(a) Brain Damage:
According to reports of Caputo and Mandell (1970) Kiester (1974) in about 1 percent of the delinquents brain damage leads to lowered inhibitory controls and a tendency to show violent behaviour. The genetic theorists argue the presence of an extra ‘y’ chromosome in delinquents.
(b) Psychopathic Personality:
Tendency to have delinquency and crime is found to have some relationship with one’s personality pattern. It is seen that criminal children resort to illegal and abnormal ways of adjusting with their environment because of psychopathic personality.
Immaturity in sentiment and lack of emotional balance was found to be about 8 times more in the delinquents compared to the normal children. While a normal child is adjective, well behaved, less aggressive, peaceful, sociable and obedient, a delinquent child appears to be disobedient naughty, explosive, aggressive and unsocial.
Further he found that while a delinquent child used to have more interest in adventurous and dangerous acts, -sees more and more cinemas, smoking, gambling, staying away from home, breaking and destroying things, breaking laws like travelling without a ticket and showing considerable immaturity, a child with healthy and normal personality is found to be engaged in games, and activities with familial and social san999ctions. He is more socialized than a delinquent.
Hence, a great majority of persistent delinquents have been found to possess the traits and characteristics of antisocial and psychopathic personalities. A number of studies conducted in U.K. and India using Eysenek’s personality inventory show delinquents to be more extroverts, more neurotic, more psychotic, and to have more criminal tendencies than the non delinquents.
They appear to be quite impulsive, callus, and socially insensitive. They donâ€™t usually have the feelings of sorrow, guilt and repentance. They are unable to establish suitable interpersonal relationship and they do not gain or learn anything from experience in a constructive way.
They do not seem to have any reality control, morality or inner conscience. They are mostly guided by pleasure principle (Id) than by conscience (superego). So they indulge in what ever they wish, which give them pleasure and satisfy their ego without caring for the social and familial consequences.
For example, they may steal money which they don’t need or may steal a car or scooter, drive it a little ahead, break the glass panes and leave it there. Many psychopathic delinquents are found cutting the brand new cushions in theaters and cinema halls; and even in trains.
I have also observed many delinquents between 10-12 years age who are in the habit of breaking the electric bulb in every lamp post or the road without any reason.
They just do it out of fun and nothing more. When I asked one of them not to do so, when he was throwing stones at the electric bulb in front of my house he just laughed and laughed and repeated the behaviour using abusive language.
It is found that they actually do not involve themselves in such acts for personal gain but it reflects their underlying sub conscious or unconscious resentment and hostility towards the outer world, a world for which they have no feeling of involvement and belongingness.
There are others who just move around in a gang aimlessly and get pleasure in passing filthy remarks whenever a girl or a woman passes nearby. Such people are under the mercy of their uncontrolled, uninhibited responses.
It is a matter of concern that currently the incidence of psychopathic personality in female delinquents has increased quite rapidly as reports show. Fine and Fishman (1968) conducted a study on 115 girls in a State Correctional Institution in Kentuky to find out their general personality characteristics.
They found rebelliousness, inadequacy, impulsiveness, instability and immature characteristics commonly found in the psychopathic personality.
It was also found (Ganzer and Sarason, 1973) that female delinquents more frequently come from personally and socially dis-organised families than did males. The theories of both Sheldon and Eysenek stress genetic along with environmental aspects to explain delinquent behaviour.
(c) Drug Abuse:
Quite a large number of delinquents, particularly those engaged in prostitution and physical assault are found to be addicted to various drugs and alcohol. Drug addicted females are usually engaged in stealing and prostitution. Many adolescents need money for buying drugs once they are addicted to it. So they start stealing, robbery etc. to meet their need for drugs.
(d) Mental Retardation:
Low intelligence, mental weakness and mental retardation may be related to delinquency. Goring held the view that intellectual weakness is a cause of crime. Goddard strongly supported this view.
This data is supported by Glueck and Glueck (1935) in their book unraveling juvenile delinquency. However some other studies show that among 5 percent of the delinquents mental retardation may be accounted to delinquency. Mentally retarded people have no foresight to the consequences and significance of their action.
So they commit impulsive behaviour like sexual offence, small aggressive behaviour and petty stealing. Even more intelligent psychopaths and gangs exploit them and include them in their groups. In some instances mental retardation is associated with serious brain damage and leads a combination of features of both the organic and mentally retarded delinquent.
(e) Mental Disease:
Mental disease seems to be one of the contributors to delinquency and crime. Psychologists and criminologists have tried to establish a positive relationship between mental disease like neurosis, psychosis and delinquency or crime.
In several studies conducted on criminals and delinquents about 6 to 10 percent of them found to be mentally diseased. It is said that crime is a mental disease and the criminal is a mental patient.
Direct relationship between neurosis and delinquency and psychosis and delinquency has been detected in many delinquents. The delinquent act is basically a compulsive behaviour which the delinquent fails to check or control. Stealing things which one does not actually require, like showing perversions and misconduct like peeping etc. indicate sexually deviant behaviour.
Because of the sexual restrictions in our society like masturbation and other forms of overt sexual behaviour and are considered undesirable and a vice, a sin, a child or adolescent takes recourse to these morbid activities.
In limited number of cases, i.e. about 3 to 5 percent delinquent behaviour is associated with psychotic disorders. According to Bandura (1973) often this involves prolonged emotional and social withdrawal arising out of long standing frustration. Here the delinquent act is the function of terrible personality mal-adjustment and disturbances rather than a consistent antisocial orientation.
Some psychiatrists and neurologists believe that the psychopathic personality is a cause -of crime. A psychopathic child is irritable, obstinate, disobedient, cruel, aggressive, self centred, lonely, full of feelings of revenge and vindictiveness and shows uncontrolled hyperactive sexual behaviour.
He has no guilt feeling or repentance for his cruelty and hostility against others. He is unwanted in his own house. Because of his inadequate and abnormal qualities, he is not liked by anybody, rather he is criticized and abused in his own house, so he develops obstinate and homicidal tendencies.
While the environment in which the adolscents live are definitely important, it is cruscial to note that these environments interact with the characteristics of the adolscents themselves to generate contrasting levels of adjustment. As we see from the above discussion, not all the reasons of antisocial behaviour lie in dysfunctional, disorganised families, rejecting parental styles and other familial factors, growing evidence obtained from investigations and studies suggest that certain adolscents are at high risk for being rejected by their friends and peers and for being engaged in various kinds of antisocial behaviour.
These adolscents are those who show high levels of aggression, disruptive and hyperactive behaviour. They show inattentive and irritative behaviour, complain a lot, do not pay attention to others and sometimes act like a small child. (French, and Turner-1995).
A longitudinal research recently conducted by Pope and Bierman (1999) examined the behaviour of boys in grades three to six and then again the same children were studied four years later, i.e., when they were in grades 7 to 10. Rating of these boys by their peers showed characteristics relating to peer rejection, antisocial behaviour, aggression, irritability, excitability, acting before thinking behaviour.
In sum, both the individual factors including temperament and environmental factors play important roles in the causation of juvenile delinquency, particularly with regard to complex aspects of behaviour.
13. Essay on the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Juvenile Delinquency:
Delinquency had always been considered as a legal and social problem. So previously psychologists and psychiatrists did not pay much attention to it until it was considered as a psychological problem. Currently all the progressive, civilized and welfare states of the world are concerned about the prevention, treatment, cure and rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents.
They have changed the old laws of juvenile delinquency, so that prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of delinquents is possible. The modern welfare states try to reform the juvenile delinquents, psychologists and sociologists hint at the prevention of juvenile delinquency by controlling the socio psychological causes of delinquency, we will take up these for welfare measures one by one.
1. Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency:
The home and family environment greatly responsible for the development of juvenile delinquency as reports show. If the role of parents, family members, their attitude towards the child can be positive and love and care oriented, if suitable child rearing practices are enforced, if the parents show emotional, stability and emotional intelligence, a lot of juvenile delinquency can be reduced.
It is rightly said that problem children are the product of problem parents. Hence if parents control their personality in the right direction, if they try to show good examples to the child through their action, the child will not feel lonely, rejected, frustrated, alienated and hostility.
If parents take the vow not to fight in front of the child, not to show serious differences regarding the rearing and control of the child, the child will develop positive personality traits like love, affection, co-operation, healthy competition and respect for the parents, family members, teachers and society as a whole.
A lot of delinquent tendencies of children can be uprooted and thrown to the dustbin in the initial stage by suitable and stimulating family and social environment.
The child be explained things rather than punished physically and mentally. Comparison between brothers and sisters is a very unhealthy practice which should be avoided by parents at any cost if they want that their children should not suffer from sibling jealousy which may give rise to delinquent and hostile thoughts.
In an incident an elder brother pierced needle in to the eye of the younger brother repeatedly and made him blind for the rest of his life. This act was encouraged by a feeling of hostility towards the younger brother because the father scolded the younger brother’s and praised the elder brother who stood first in the class while the younger brother rank was 15.
Such behaviour of parents should be discouraged. Hence parents should be given training in proper child rearing, before they become parents, so that normal traits of personality can be developed in the child and delinquent traits will not have any scope to develop. Schools where the child studies and the society where the child lives with his friends and peers should all show a desirable attitude to the child.
Parents and teachers must see that the child should not have bad companions. They should be cautious of the youth’s activities. Instead of dominating upon the child; they should be in between rigidity and liberality while dealing with the youths. Flexibility in child rearing practice is highly essential for the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
If a child shows any abnormal tendency he has to be taken to a child guidance clinic. Thus:
(i) By controlling the family environment of the child
(ii) By organising activities like good recreational facilities, sports and games, group gatherings, picnics and study tours
(iii) By taking steps for the healthy personality development of child through a balanced and judicious child rearing practice
(iv) By organising specific preventive service for children through child, psychiatric and child guidance clinics
(v) By improving the institutional structure of the society, like family, neighbour hood and school delinquency can be prevented,
(vi) By raising the income level of below the poverty line families
(vii) By providing job opportunity and education to all children
(viii) By establishing more and more model schools, and providing recreational facilities near the home or in the neighbourhood
(ix) By improving relationship between parents through family counselling and family social work and by imparting social value and moral education to children from the beginning delinquency can be prevented. Social science and moral education should be introduced in school curriculum.
This would help in the inculcation of values and moral standard in children. Modern educational system lags behind in social education, moral education and value education which should be re-introduced in all Indian schools whether rural or urban. Materialistic attitude towards life, greed for quick money and wealth friendly attitude should not be encouraged in children for prevention of crime.
Various community organisations and child care centres should be introduced for lower socio-economic class children who do not get the opportunity for all round development of personality.
Children of backward classes who do not get the, opportunity of stimulating environmental facilities should be provided with recreational facilities and facilities for the development of their innate potentialities and merits.
Children homes, probation hostels, probation and parole services should be established widely for the prevention of violence and crime in children. While giving every child the opportunity to get education, students should also get the opportunity for higher and professional education.
The most important prevention of juvenile delinquency is utilization of the free time of the child, so that it is not mutualized. It is seen that many children without getting proper guidance from their parents and guardians in this regard spend their time with bad companions and enter the world of delinquency.
This type of prevention attempts to check delinquency before it starts:
Lejins (1967) has classified the prevention programmes in to the following three categories:
(1) Punitive Prevention
(2) Corrective prevention
(3) Mechanical prevention.
(1) Punitive prevention is the threat of punishment based on the view that punishment will forestall criminal activities.
(2) Corrective prevention refers to an attempt to eliminate potential causes before the criminal behaviour actually takes place.
(3) The third preventive measure aims at putting barriers in the way of the hardcore criminals like provision of police protection and security measures to check the operation of criminals and law breakers.
After independence many voluntary organisations came up in India and took steps for prevention of delinquency such as children organisations looking after their welfare, opening of schools, orphanages, social welfare departments, secure homes, child counselling centres and child psychiatric centres.
While the various voluntary organisations function in an unstructured way, the government departments function in a planned, organised and systematic way for the prevention of delinquency below 18 yrs. age groups. The women and child welfare dep’t at central government and state government levels look after the ways and means to prevent juvenile delinquency as it is a socio-economic problem of every country.
It is an accepted fact that prevention is not possible in cent per cent of cases and offences are likely to occur. But a great deal of delinquency of youngsters can be prevented if children and adolescents are prevented from being criminals. Otherwise to-days juvenile delinquents will be tomorrows criminals.
It is hence the duty of the police, law and order authorities, government and non govt. organisations to work co-coordinately to prevent juveniles, particularly those who are uncared for by their parents, guardians and who are not under their control any more.
Besides, even if they go astray, nobody prevents them from doing, so. In such cases the police, the social organisations and the government departments should try to be sympathetic and understanding delinquents.
Orphan children of lower socio economic class who are involved in criminal activities should be restrained to do so. They should be advised and guided in a friendly manner to go in the right path, the path which law and society confirm.
A wise, sympathetic and understanding agent of law and order, the police, a wise social activist working for the children who are tempted to go in the wrong path against the social norm should be a guide and friend in their approach. They should treat the unfortunate children with love, sympathy and understanding.
Those who go to the police on their own with their problems and troubles should be dealt with patience and sympathy. It is seen many police officials become impatient and aggressive with the social offenders which is not desirable, because they require sympathetic treatment more than punishment. But there are also some police officers who are very kind and sympathetic to juveniles.
The following is the extract of a letter written by one of the Honorary Presidency Magistrate of Chennai City.
“During my sitting in the Juvenile Court, an instance so rare, and unusual but very moving happened in court when a certain juvenile was brought to court for the offence of theft. Even though his relatives were present in the court he rushed to Head Constable 1472 Natarajan of Ice House Police Station and clung to him with real affection asking for his protection and help when the court ordered the juvenile to be detained in the Remand Home. On investigating the matter the court came to know that the said Head Constable 1742 Natarajan was extremely kind and understanding to the juvenile. The juvenile’s anguish rush to the Head Constable was a spontaneous action which sprang out of his confidence in the goodness of a policeman who had really proved to be a friend to a baffled boy.”
Who says that police men are aggressive and in human?
It is quite clear from the above example that friendly relationship between the police and the juvenile, understanding and sympathy of the police during custody can refrain the youngsters from turning to criminals. If this is done with patience and good behaviour a great part of prevention can be achieved.
Caplan (1974) the guiding star of community psychology has suggested three different types of prevention programmes:
(a) Primary Prevention. Change or manipulation of circumstances of the individual that might bring behaviour disorder like crime, violence, crowding, indiscipline and dis-organisation in the society. This can be possible by planning to produce healthy social conditions that can minimize personal crisis, anxiety, worry, frustration and stress.
(b) Secondary Prevention. It tends to reduce the frequency and severity of behaviour disorder through early detection and effective treatment.
(c) Tertiary Prevention. Its purpose is to reduce the period of disability and damage produced by disordered behaviour. Tertiary prevention include psycho therapy, rehabilitation, hospitalization and other innovative methods to help the juveniles to recover quickly and effectively.
The various revised Children Acts of the world provide scope for treatment of young offenders. Special courts are established with specially trained magistrates for the trial of the delinquents. Today delinquency is considered as a misbehavior rather than a crime and accordingly the acts have changed regarding the custody, control and punishment of young offenders.
The laws have provision for establishment of children home, orphanage and reformatory schools for the juvenile delinquents for their treatment and rehabilitation.
Even though prevention has always been better than cure, hundred percent prevention is not possible. So treatment is necessary. Psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers world-wide are always attached to look after the problems and difficulties of juveniles. In western countries delinquents in small groups are brought up in residential areas and given individual treatment to bring them to the social main stream, to make them feel that they are not criminals, but a part and parcel of the society.
So they are removed from the aversive environment and allowed to learn about the world of which they are a member. If required they are given various therapeutic treatments and counselling. Here their behaviour is socialized by the help of group pressure.
Psychologists and sociologists try to treat juveniles from different angles. While psychologists use different methods like psycho therapy, group therapy, reality therapy, milieu therapy etc. and emphasize individual and interpersonal relations.
Taking the help of social engineering, sociologists generally approach to delinquency which emphasizes the conditions of social structure that produce delinquency. The following therapeutic methods are used by psychologists and psychiatrists for the treatment of juvenile delinquency.
Psycho therapy is a very effective method for treating various emotional and personality problems.
The aim of psycho therapy is to change:
(a) Maladoptive behaviour persons
(b) Minimize or eliminate environmental conditions that be the cause of such behaviour.
(c) Improving interpersonal and other competencies
(d) Fostering a clear cut sense of one’s self identity and the opening of pathways to a more meaningful and fulfilling existence.
Faulty parent child relationship reinforced by many years of life experiences often lead to unhealthy self-concept and lower self image. The emotional and personality problems and maladoptive behaviour patterns of the juveniles can be treated by psycho analysis, dream analysis, hypnosis etc.
Psychotherapy treats the emotional and personality problems like change of attitude and feeling towards parents and significant persons from anti to pro, from negative to positive. Due to unsatisfactory parent child relationship, the emotional development of the child is often retarded and consequently he shows impulsive behaviour which may take the shape of antisocial behaviour.
Through the technique of psychotherapy the delinquent is allowed to operate in an atmosphere of love, sympathy, acceptance and understanding by the psychiatrist. In such an atmosphere he has no fear of physical punishment or rejection.
Because of the operation of the technique of transference the juvenile develops positive attitude towards the therapist and therefore feels comfortable in making communication with him. In this process the conflict in the juvenile mind because of faulty early childhood experiences is resolved and the juvenile shows socially acceptable behaviour.
ii. Group Therapy:
Psychologists and sociologists believe that human behaviour is largely influenced by group pressure. The antisocial and unacceptable behaviour of the juvenile is a product of the family pressure and society. So any behaviour originating out of group pressure is expected to be changed also under group pressure.
Group therapy can be of two types, traditional group therapy and encounter group therapy. In traditional group therapy a small number of patients of same age, need, problems and difficulties are treated together.
Psychodrama, a traditional group therapy helps the participants to express their blocked emotional feelings through the respective characters they play. Psychodrama frees the juvenile from anxieties, worries, hostilities, traumatic experiences and emotional repressions.
iii. Family Therapy:
How disturbed family environment leads to a lot of personality problems and maladjustments in juveniles. In many instances it is observed that when the patient returns home after being cured, again the maladoptive tendencies relapse. This explains the fact that the problem of antisocial behaviour lies in the disturbed family environment.
To check this and maintain the gain, modifications in the family environment is essential. Haley (1962) holds that changes in the individual can occur only when there is a change in the family system. Emotionally unhealthy family system produces faulty emotional development in individuals, particularly children.
The trend of the family system is also mirrored in the child’s personality. The pathological and unbalanced personality of a juvenile can be cared to a great extent by treating the family members or changing the juveniles family environment.
That is why juveniles coming from extremely disturbed family environment are kept in better environments to cure their maladjustment. Ackerman (1963), Bowen (1977), Bell (1975) and many others developed the view that individual symptoms reflect problems of the family. Emotionally unhealthy family system produces faulty emotional development in individual members of the family.
Haley (1962) says that changes in the individual can occur only when there is change in family system. So it is necessary to change the personality of the family members through counselling and other methods before the juvenile returns home.
In-fact, the whole family should be directly involved in therapy and not the pathogenic individual alone. By restructuring the family life it can be made normal so that the juvenile will not be influenced by it after therapy.
Conjoint Family therapy developed by Satir (1967) makes improvement and thorough change in the family system, faulty parent child relationship, weak communication procedures and unhealthy interactions among the family members.
In conjoint family therapy the therapist reduces the aversive value of the family by actively manipulating the relationship between members so that the relationship changes to a more positive reinforcing and reciprocal ones. Currently workshops are being conducted and video tapes are being used to make the family members conscious of their faulty personality pattern.
iv. Reality Therapy:
Developed by Glasser (1965), Glasser and Junin (1973) the reality therapy is based on the assumption that the topmost need of a person are to love and beloved. When there is conflict between the norms of the society like right and wrong and the actual behaviour the child shows, it leads to maladjustment and the juvenile behaves in a very irresponsible manner and he feels guilty for this.
The very feeling that he is incompetent and useless and the belief that he is unable to do the right things of the society bring misery and anxiety in his life and he turns to anti-social activities. The aim of the reality therapy is to help the juvenile to believe and realize that he is not actually responsible for those acts for which he considers himself responsible.
The therapist explores the basic values of the juvenile and advises him to act according to his own values. When the therapist acts as a model or moral agent for the juvenile, he gets influenced by his values and is benefitted. There the juvenile is taught to see the real situation and act accordingly. In reality therapy the juvenile is encouraged to talk out his conflicting values and learn to live in accordance with his own values.
By teaching him to set realistic goals conflict between the aspiration and achievement can be avoided and a balance between the two can be maintained by reducing the gap which otherwise may lead to frustration. He is helped to develop realistic goals and he is taught to find realistic ways to reach these goals.
In reality therapy the past is insignificant. The present is disconnected from the past as the past cannot be changed and the present is only treated.
Glasser and Zunin (1973) commenting on the reality therapy write:
“Through accepting responsibility for one’s own behaviour and acting maturely to constructively change their behaviour, individuals find they are no longer lonely, symptoms begin to resolve and they are more likely to gain maturity, respect and love. They further hold that successful results have been obtained in the treatment of delinquents through reality therapy.â€
v. Behaviour Therapy:
Behaviour Modification otherwise known as behaviour therapy stems from Watson’s principle of behaviourism and is based on the principle of learning. Through behaviour therapy some maladjusted and unwanted behaviours are modified through un-conditioning, direct conditioning counter conditioning and reciprocal inhibition.
Thus, behaviour can be changed through rewards and punishments or positive and negative reinforcements.
Positive reinforcement like money, praise, attention, education, prizes, good food, good dress, stimulating environment reinforces positive behaviour in a delinquent, while negative reinforcement like physical punishment, threats and intimidations, ridicule, cruelty, deprivations from various needs and comforts produce negative behaviour. For modifying any behaviour, both the reinforcers can be used.
vi. Individual and Vocational Counselling:
Now a days counselling has proved to be a successful method of treating juveniles. By this individual counselling the delinquents are reeducated to understand their immediate problems and solve them accordingly. In this method however no step is taken to change the basic personality of the juvenile.
The juvenile is provided with vocational counselling to help him Lo choose the right vocation or career or jobs. The positive attitude and insight gained by counselling help the juvenile to change his relationship with others in the positive direction.
Modern welfare states no more wish to punish and penalize the delinquents for their antisocial activities. Rather they are interested to make them responsible citizens of the country by taking various rehabilitation measures besides prevention and treatment of delinquency. Accordingly the Children’s Act has been modified throughout the world including India.
For the rehabilitation and reform of juveniles various Remand Homes, Certified Schools, Reformatory Schools, Borstal schools and probation hostels have been established for the protection and rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents around the globe including India. All the earlier Children’s’ Act in India has now been replaced by the Juvenile justice act, 1986 and the whole country has now been brought under it.
The 1986 Act, provides a differential approach in dealing with the neglected juveniles, and delinquent juveniles. The neglected category includes juveniles who are likely to be abused, exploited and criminals in future and need the legal support to do away with these evils.
The neglected category is to be kept in Children’s or observation Homes. Under no circumstances they are to be kept with other prisoners in jails. The neglected juvenile is to be sent to a juvenile home only if his parents, relations or guardians or any body of an institution is not considered fit to take his care. The neglected juveniles according to present law are to be produced before the juvenile Welfare Board.
On the other hand the juvenile delinquents are to be kept in special homes which offer facilities for education, vocational training and character building. They are to be produced before the juvenile court. The Act further requires the state governments to establish a fund exclusively for the welfare and rehabilitation of juveniles.
They are also required to constitute advisory Boards to advise on establishment and maintenance of Homes for the juveniles and mobilization of resources etc. for the rehabilitation of juveniles.
The main purpose of rehabilitation is to change them to socialized individuals and allow them to join the mainstream and pursue a carrier, or profession to lead a dignified and healthy life like other persons in the society. Through sympathy, tolerance and understanding attitude, neglected juveniles and delinquent juveniles can be turned to normal youths and successful citizens of the country.
They should be encouraged to take part in various extracurricular activities. The Remand Homes or Observation Homes established in our country are only 154, which are not sufficient enough to educate, and train all juveniles.
Further the recreation facilities, health care, controlled discipline and effective supervision which are the main purpose of Remand Homes are not adequate for the rehabilitation and reform of juveniles. Even in India the observation Homes do not exist in all states. As per the 1993 figures, Remand Homes are found only in 14 states and in one territory.
The highest number of Remand Homes is found in Maharashtra. In Orissa there is only one Remand Home at Berhampur in Ganjam Dist. Among the Remand Homes about 50 percent are run by voluntary organisations and the rest are run under government control.
Of the total inmates about 67 percent belong to the age group of 7-14 years. While the rest 33 per cent are either below seven years or between 14-18 years.
There are separate Homes for boys and girls. While the neglected juveniles constitute about 75 to 80 percent of the juveniles who are neglected, homeless orphans and destitute, the remaining 15 to 20 percent are juvenile delinquents.
About 50 percent of the inmates are kept in the Remand Homes for less than six weeks, 35 percent between six weeks and six months and the rest 15 percent for more than six months. An average expenditure per inmate per month in a Remand Home ifri993 is believed to be Rs. 310.
In these Remand Homes the children are kept for various probation periods under the supervision and observation of an officer. The job of the officer is to look after the delinquents, take care of them and help them to have a normal life and join the national mainstream and settle successfully in the society.
There he gets a chance to change himself for better, through advice and help. Reformatory institutions, certified schools, auxiliary homes and Borstal Schools are established to reform inmate delinquents.
These institutions are established with the basic purpose of changing the life style and conduct of the delinquents staying here. Formal education, vocational training and other trainings are imparted to lead a normal life in future.
Various psychological techniques like play therapy and counselling are provided to the children by counselors and psychologists to expose their emotional blockings and other adverse traits acquired because of familial and social reasons.
Through play therapy, the anger, hostility, rage, violence, repressed desires, sibling and other jealousy which are liable to make him antisocial and produce conduct disorder are channelized. That is why it that play has a therapeutic value.
The tendency of the children to their feelings in new situations facilitates the early appearance of spontaneous and global transference reactions which may be otherwise harmful for the child’s personality and adjustment. Through various toys children express their aggressive, suppressed and repressed feelings.
They are also able to communicate through play. In play therapy use of mechanical and clay toys are avoided as far as practicable as they break readily and thereby contributed to the guilt feeling of children.
Through play the tensions, conflicts and frustrations arising out of unfulfilled wishes of the delinquent are expressed and released in an acceptable manner. Play therapy can be used individually as well as in groups.
For the rehabilitation of neglected and delinquent juveniles counselling is essential. The teachers of reformatory schools should act as good father and mother figures, ideal models for the juveniles. They should behave like warm, understanding and loving parents and help the children to have sense of security and involvement.
Various group activities like scouts, guides, picnic, study tour, various cultural activities, drama, sports should be organised to change their ego. The parents must also be helped through counselling to develop insight in to the problems of the boy, and their own which has helped the maladjustment in their child.
The society and public should also develop a flexible attitude towards delinquency so that proper diagnosis and treatment and prevention of delinquency can be possible. Mentally retarded children should be dealt more cautiously as they are more prone to delinquency.
They should be taught in such a way that their attention is sustained in a work. Psychopathic and neurotic children should be provided with counselling and psychological treatment. They are also given training how to be good citizens and live in a democratic manner.
However all kinds of delinquents should not be given similar rehabilitation facilities. Differential diagnosis of delinquents is therefore necessary for rehabilitation. This can be made possible by professional psychologists and psychiatrists. Follow up services of the delinquents is essential by the psychologists and sociologists to know how they are managing after being cured.
In Reformatory schools various vocational trainings in toy making, tailoring, manufacturing leather goods, candles, agriculture, making articles from canes and bamboos are provided besides providing them education up to the fifth standard.
If the inmates want to study more they are sent to outside schools. No work is forced on the inmates. So they live there happily like family members. Value education and moral educations are also provided in many reformatory schools. There is serious need to restructure the Remand Homes and Reformatory Schools now functioning.
In-spite of the rehabilitation programmes undertaken they are not enough keeping in view the rapid growth of juvenile delinquency. In my opinion even children studying in various schools should be carefully observed by their class teachers, whether they show any tendency of delinquency.
Today delinquency is no more the problem of lower socio economic families. Even children of middle and higher S.E.S. are sharing delinquent behaviour in schools. The following examples will explain the problem.
My grandson Anuraag aged six years studies in Std. I in a famous English Medium school where mostly children of higher and middle income groups study. Anuraag takes some tiffin to school. But everyday he comes back hungry. The reason, his tiffin is forcibly eaten away by two three class mates daily.
When Anuraag starts opening his tiffin box in the tiffin break, to eat, two three boys run towards him and forcibly snatch his tiffin box and sallow everything. Anuraag gets scared of them and tolerates everything silently.
On enquiry I came to know that these 3-4 boys come from rich families belonging to upper middle socio economic status. This misconduct and antisocial behaviour of these children may lead to delinquency in future unless care is taken to find-out why they show such behaviour and then appropriate preventive measure may be taken.
May be due to faulty child rearing practices, lack of attention of parents, sociopathic parents or parental negligence these children of upper middle class take recourse to antisocial behaviour. To-day it is found that quite a number of middle class youths are engaged in upper and various criminal activities like stealing, robbery, bank robbery and chain snatching.
The fact being that delinquency has now spread to the middle and upper class children and youths it is a matter of great concern for all concerned. Parents should be specially vigilant about their conduct and day to day activities at school as well as home and in the neighbourhood.
Though various welfare measures are being taken for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of juveniles, they are quite inadequate. The inadequacies of correctional system, ineffective rehabilitation programmes and the mismanagement in Remand Homes, all taken together make the purpose a total failure.
The implementation of the preventive measures and rehabilitation programmes should be properly done. Long range programmes are to be prepared.
By improving the conditions of slum areas, providing suitable educational and recreational facilities, counselling parents, family members, and even teachers who are fond of giving physical punishment, organizing their child’s behaviour in a disciplined manner and by developing proper ego identity delinquents can be cured as well as rehabilitated.
Odell (1974) has developed a programme that combined educational development and job placement facilitating entry in to the opportunity structure which is more effective than traditional case work methods in preventing juvenile recidivision. Juvenile delinquency no more being considered as a crime the emphasis should be more on treatment and rehabilitation than on punishment.