Juvenile Delinquency Category : Secondary School Level

Juvenile Delinquency 

Category : Secondary School Level

Outline: Explaining the term. Activities that are considered as delinquent acts. Family drawbacks resulting in delinquency. Preventive measures – private and governmental.


Juvenile delinquency refers to anti-social, disruptive or illegal behaviour by children or teenagers. Though it is not easy to define juvenile delinquency, sociologist Marfatia explains it as a social offence committed by an individual who is below 18, otherwise would have been charged as a crime if an adult was.


Juvenile children legally do not come under the Penal Section. Therefore, they are not punished like adult criminals. Such child offenders are sent to remedial homes.


Children often test the limits and boundaries set by their parents and elders. There are certain kinds of activities that are counted as delinquent behaviour. They include killing someone, gambling, being dishonest, stealing, looting, begging, suicidal attempt, indulging oneself in sexual offence, committing violence or causing damage to someone's property. Eve teasing done in schools and colleges is another form of delinquency.


Family factors resulting in delinquency includes; the level of parental supervision and discipline, parental conflict or separation, parents belonging to criminal background and regular parental abuse.


Children who are brought up by single parents are more likely to show off ending actions compared to those who live with both parents.


When parents are unaware of where their children are, what their activities are, or who their friends are, children are more likely to miss school and have delinquent friends.


Thus lack of parental attention contributes to delinquency. Furthermore, excessive strictness combined with step-parenthood dangerously leads to juvenile delinquency.


Delinquency is also noted among the bodily weak and mentally unhealthy people. Such individuals work out to cope up with their feelings of inferiority due to their weak physical features by engaging in delinquent actions. It is also found that mentally retarded people are often used by others to commit crime.


Delinquency prevention aims in stopping youth from being involved in criminal or anti-social activity. However, preventive measures must begin at home. Healthy behaviour must be developed within the family members. Eradicating poverty and raising the living standards can minimize delinquency. Increasingly, governments are recognizing the importance of prevention of delinquency.


Often it is difficult for states to provide the financial resources necessary for good prevention. Thus organizations, communities and governments are working in collaboration to prevent juvenile delinquency. Preventive efforts are comprehensive in scope. Prevention services include activities such as youth mentoring, parenting education and counselling, educational support and youth sheltering.

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